Any shape you like, straight from the printer
Photos: LaufsED PLLC/GmbH
Will Laufs is sure: the future lies in the printer. As a pioneer of the construction industry, he supports architects and artists worldwide in their planning and design efforts. One of the main aspects of this is the link between technical innovation, aesthetic appearance and cultural relevance. Laufs’ main focus is on the commercial development of freely designed shapes for the world of construction.
The rapid development of programmable 3D-printing will speed up the transfer of ideas to the construction industry – is the firm belief of the team at Laufs Engineering Design, with offices in New York and Berlin. Put specifically, this means that the high-strength of fibre-reinforced materials will soon make it possible to create objects of any shape which outperform - when under load - grid-based systems with their 90° angles, in terms of material consumption and utilisation. While the reproducibility of large series of identical shapes plays a major role in cost-cutting in traditional manufacturing, manufacturing with 3D printing promises to open up a whole new set of possibilities. “Shape will no longer have an influence on the cost of manufacturing. It doesn’t matter to a 3D printer what shape it is producing”, explains Will Laufs.
While others still indulge in their visions, the team at Laufs Engineering und Design is busy putting them into practice. “We are currently using SPINS (Structurally Performing Irregular Node System) to create an open, free-form structure as a prototype for an outdoor terrace in New York. The form that we create approximates to the statically optimum load behaviour of such natural biometric shapes as the stem of a sunflower.
To misquote the wisdom of Pippi Longstocking, the future could be summed up as: “We print out our world, diddle diddle dee, just how we like it...”