By Alex Bazeley, curbed.com
It’s 20 feet tall!
3D printing has fast become a dominant—if occasionally gimmicky—force in design and engineering, with results ranging from the innovative to the predictably scary. Now, an architectural fabricator from Chattanooga, Tennessee, has claimed to have built the world’s largest 3D-printed structure, proving that sometimes it’s okay to build something that just looks cool.
Branch Technology unveiled the 20-foot-tall, 42-foot-wide pavilion this week at an architecture and engineering symposium at MIT, created for Nashville’s new tech-driven neighborhood, OneC1TY. Commissioned by the Dallas-based developer Cambridge, the structure is a sweeping geometric design made of carbon fiber–reinforced Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene and finished with an ultraviolet protective metallic paint.
The team of designers printed 40 panels off-site over a period of 10 weeks and then assembled the project at the Nashville location. To work around the need for a steel support system, the group partnered with R&D incubator CORE Studio to employ their unique cellular fabrication 3D printing technology.
The OneC1TY pavilion weighs approximately 3,200 pounds and can withstand an inch of ice, up to 12 inches of snow, and 90 mph wind.
Of course, without a Guinness World Records representative on hand, it’s hard to verify the studio’s claim. Still, pavilions seems to be a popular choice for those trying to etch their names in the record books, with the China-based Laboratory for Creative Design taking a similar approach for a large 3D-printed structure back in 2015.