Architecture

Stone Spray builds architecture from the ground up ... literally

Stone Spray builds architectur...
The Stone Spray works much like a 3D printer, since it follows a 3D design from a computer and creates objects by layering material
The Stone Spray works much like a 3D printer, since it follows a 3D design from a computer and creates objects by layering material
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Stone Spray uses soil and sand combined with a solidifying agent to build solid, eco-friendly architecture much like a 3D printer
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Stone Spray uses soil and sand combined with a solidifying agent to build solid, eco-friendly architecture much like a 3D printer
The Stone Spray works much like a 3D printer, since it follows a 3D design from a computer and creates objects by layering material
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The Stone Spray works much like a 3D printer, since it follows a 3D design from a computer and creates objects by layering material
Once it's dried, the resulting creation from the Stone Spray resembles a chunk of corral but is as solid as concrete
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Once it's dried, the resulting creation from the Stone Spray resembles a chunk of corral but is as solid as concrete
The Stone Spray on can build in almost any direction, creating multi-directional arcs and even constructing outward from a vertical surface
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The Stone Spray on can build in almost any direction, creating multi-directional arcs and even constructing outward from a vertical surface
The Stone Spray on can build in almost any direction, creating multi-directional arcs and even constructing outward from a vertical surface
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The Stone Spray on can build in almost any direction, creating multi-directional arcs and even constructing outward from a vertical surface
Instead of using a synthetic material like plastic, the Stone Spray uses natural soil or sand mixed with a solidifying agent
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Instead of using a synthetic material like plastic, the Stone Spray uses natural soil or sand mixed with a solidifying agent
Certain designs aren't solid enough to stand on their own during production, but these can still be made around a wire framework, such as this stool
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Certain designs aren't solid enough to stand on their own during production, but these can still be made around a wire framework, such as this stool
With further development, the group behind the project envisions full-sized, usable structures, including bridges, constructed from scratch with materials from the local environment
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With further development, the group behind the project envisions full-sized, usable structures, including bridges, constructed from scratch with materials from the local environment
With further development, the group behind the project envisions full-sized, usable structures, including bridges, constructed from scratch with materials from the local environment
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With further development, the group behind the project envisions full-sized, usable structures, including bridges, constructed from scratch with materials from the local environment
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As useful as 3D printers are becoming in industrial design, they still aren't exactly eco-friendly and are still mostly limited to small scale objects. You couldn't really use one to print a building just yet, but a group of architects may have taken a step in the right direction with a new machine called the Stone Spray. Using natural soil and sand, the Stone Spray can construct intricate solid structures at almost any location, even on vertical surfaces.

The device was developed by architects Petr Novikov, Inder Shergill, and Anna Kulik as a research project to experiment with applying the concepts of digital manufacturing to construction work. The Stone Spray works much like a 3D printer, since it follows a 3D design from a computer and creates objects by layering material. It's main distinction though is that instead of using a synthetic material like plastic, the machine uses natural soil or sand mixed with a solidifying agent. Living up to it's name, the Stone Spray's mechanical arm literally sprays the concoction from a nozzle to slowly build scaled down towers and arches. Once it's dried, the resulting creation resembles a chunk of corral but is as solid as concrete.

Aside from the material it uses, the Stone Spray also stands out for its ability to create forms that most other 3D printers cannot. The majority of 3D printers can only build upwards, as layers of material are stacked on top of each other. The Stone Spray on the other hand can build in almost any direction, creating multi-directional arcs and even constructing outward from a vertical surface. Certain designs aren't solid enough to stand on their own during production, but these can still be made around a wire framework.

For now, the Stone Spray is limited to smaller designs, since the process for making and drying the structures can take several hours. With further development, the group behind the project envisions full-sized, usable structures (even bridges) constructed from scratch using materials from the local environment. As a bonus, the machine already requires very little energy to operate and could be run with solar power, making it even more eco-friendly. If this idea were expanded much more, constructing a building in the future could be as simple as having an architect upload a design to a machine for building.

Check out the video below to see how the Stone Spray can build a simple tower out of sand on the beach.

Source: Stone Spray

Stone Spray Project

View gallery - 9 images
26 comments
Slowburn
If I build a bridge with it in Italy will people still be able to drive cars over it in 2000 years.
helder
Nice - only lots of trimming and adjustment needed :)
Bob Ehresman
Interesting! Rammed Earth goes 21 century!
I have always been fascinated by the idea of "rammed earth" dwellings. There may be some tech here that takes that historical building process up another level.
1) you may be able to simply spray up a wall form, instead of using plywood, which is the most wasteful process in classical rammed earth building.
2) the binders used in this process may obviate the need for a packing ram.
3) the porosity of the resulting coral like material may have a higher R factor then packed soil because of the entrained air.
4) The coral like texture could lend architectural or decorative appeal, and colorants could be added to the form or outer layer for additional artistic effects.
Stewart Mitchell
humans may soon understand how the ancients built. I recall seeing an ancient drawing of someone with a hose. This is a possible breakthru in sustainable buildings.
Jon A.
I think there is prior art for "concrete." Also for 3d printing a building using concrete.
Element6
Well the idea is cool but the fidelity of the part leaves alot to be desired. I like the flexability to come at the part from all angles though. Let's see them develope the process and if they can improve the resolution then they might have a workable process. It will be interesting to see if this goes anywhere.
Jim Sadler
The new binder may be the best part. There are people with 3D printers that spray a cement concoction with the unit mounted on rails so that it moves along and builds the base, floor and walls of a dwelling. Ultimately this sort of thing may be best used for very large structures. For building normal size homes it strikes me as over kill. There is a concrete-canvas system that can create a dwelling rather quickly and with great ease. There are also systems for spraying various products that can build strong and well insulated dwellings very quickly. But a new binder that works as well as cement is something that might change the world.
Matt Rings
Would be interesting to use in non-earthquake prone third-world areas for inexpensive buildings...
Tommie le Roux
Amazing - well done !!!
Artisteroi Rlsh Gadgeteer
send it to the moon