3D printing construction technology can be used to produce everything from small houses to large buildings, but one thing most of them have in common is that they tend to be relatively simple and uninspired in appearance. Studio RAP reminds us that this wasn’t always the case, however, with its New Delft Blue involving 3D printing clay mixtures to create intricate ceramic-lined channels.
Located in the Dutch city of Delft, the new Delft Blue aims to breathe life into a recently completed project housing project.The overall design is inspired by well-known brands Royal Delft Blue And features a nature-inspired pattern that creates mountains and valleys in subtly different shades of blue.
The passage is approximately 4 m (13 ft) wide, 8 m (26 ft) high, and 12 m (39 ft) deep, and contains 3,000 unique tiles. To make them, Studio RAP uses an industrial robotic arm with a custom-built extruder to 3D print the tiles by extruding a clay-based mixture layer by layer through nozzles according to predetermined patterns. Each tile measures approximately 30 x 40 x 7 cm (11 x 15 x 2.7 inches) and takes approximately 15 minutes to make. Once complete, they are glazed and fired to create a ceramic finish before being transported to the site and installed.
“The approximately 3,000 unique tiles covering the two gates were 3D printed to create contemporary ceramics that are both rich and unique,” explained Studio RAP. “Using an algorithmic approach to 3D pattern design, certain fabrication constraints – maximum overhang, width, height and depth, shrinkage and internal support structures – were taken into account when generating the geometry of the tiles.
“Because the tiles are 3D printed, varying their shape allows for a poetic way of ‘painting with shape’. This is done by applying a transparent blue flow glaze that is applied over the raised parts (hills) of the tiles. ) while creating pools of dark blue glaze in the concave (valley) areas of the tile, creating smooth transitions between shades of blue.”
source: studio rap