US architects prototype 3D printed walls

Branch Technology innovationA US start-up led by architects has demonstrated the design possibilities of 3D printing, applying its innovation to print curving walls incorporating furniture. Branch Technology uses a production scale robot and extruder to create freeform open matrices made from ABS plastic and carbon fibre, which can be covered by insulation, concrete or other facing materials.

The company was founded by architects R Platt Boyd and Christopher W Weller. Boyd told Fortune the thinking behind their concept, called Cellular FabricationTM: “We’re saying: how little can we 3D print and allow these other materials to become the strength of the wall assembly.”

The company has given a glimpse of some of the potential design possibilities of its innovation, with prototypes including:

  • Full-scale curving walls
  • A mock-up of a loadbearing wall
  • A desk that arcs into a wall.

The company is sponsoring a competition – offering a $10,000 prize – to design a house for 3D printing, which it will then be build.

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