3D Printing

3D-printed exhibit made from one 7 km-long strip of plastic

3D-printed exhibit made from o...
ZHA's Thallus is on display at Milan Design Week until April 9
ZHA's Thallus is on display at Milan Design Week until April 9
View 13 Images
ZHA's Thallus is on display at Milan Design Week until April 9
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ZHA's Thallus is on display at Milan Design Week until April 9
Thallus was designed by ZHA's Computational Design (CoDe) team
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Thallus was designed by ZHA's Computational Design (CoDe) team
Thallus was created for Milan Design Week 
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Thallus was created for Milan Design Week 
Thallus comprises some 7 km (4.3 miles) of PLA (Premium Polylactide Plastic)
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Thallus comprises some 7 km (4.3 miles) of PLA (Premium Polylactide Plastic)
Thallus was constructed using a six-axis 3D printer
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Thallus was constructed using a six-axis 3D printer
Constructing the Thallus involved a six-axis 3D printer extruding a 7 km-long strip of PLA in a continuous line that loops repeatedly into an impressively complex pattern
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Constructing the Thallus involved a six-axis 3D printer extruding a 7 km-long strip of PLA in a continuous line that loops repeatedly into an impressively complex pattern
Thallus takes its name from the Greek word for flora that has no differentiation between stem and leaf (such as algae)
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Thallus takes its name from the Greek word for flora that has no differentiation between stem and leaf (such as algae)
Thallus' impressively complex pattern is slightly undermined by the use of cable ties to keep it all together
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Thallus' impressively complex pattern is slightly undermined by the use of cable ties to keep it all together
"Thallus continues ZHA CoDe’s research into generating geometries through computation," says ZHA
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"Thallus continues ZHA CoDe’s research into generating geometries through computation," says ZHA
Zaha Hadid Architects has always been a very forward-thinking firm so it's no real surprise that the firm has an interest in 3D-printing technology
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Zaha Hadid Architects has always been a very forward-thinking firm so it's no real surprise that the firm has an interest in 3D-printing technology
ZHA has created another installation called Unconfined for Milan Design Week
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ZHA has created another installation called Unconfined for Milan Design Week
Unconfined was designed to promote the recently-unveiled Galaxy S8
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Unconfined was designed to promote the recently-unveiled Galaxy S8
The Unconfined installation sees visitors journey through an environment inspired by the S8's design
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The Unconfined installation sees visitors journey through an environment inspired by the S8's design
View gallery - 13 images

Zaha Hadid Architects' ethos has always been very forward-thinking, so it's no surprise that the firm is researching 3D-printing technology. With this in mind, it's unveiled a small 3D-printed experimental structure at this year's Milan Design Week.

Taking its name from the Greek word for flora that has no distinctness between stem and leaf (such as algae), ZHA's Thallus was undertaken as part of the firm's investigation into computer and robot-assisted design by its Computational Design (ZHA CoDe) research group.

Looking a bit like a leaf itself, constructing the Thallus involved a six-axis 3D printer extruding a 7 km (4.3 mi)-long strip of PLA (Premium Polylactide Plastic) in a continuous line that loops repeatedly into an impressively complex pattern.

Constructing the Thallus involved a six-axis 3D printer extruding a 7 km-long strip of PLA in a continuous line that loops repeatedly into an impressively complex pattern
Constructing the Thallus involved a six-axis 3D printer extruding a 7 km-long strip of PLA in a continuous line that loops repeatedly into an impressively complex pattern

"Thallus continues ZHA CoDe's research into generating geometries through computation," says the firm. "The design explores differential growth methods through expansion and diffusion arising from a single continuous seed curve guided iteratively via simulation parameters while constrained to a reference surface."

Like the company's 3D-printed shoes, Thallus is really quite a modest little project but hints at something far more exciting: the possibility of ZHA producing a large 3D-printed building along the lines of Dubai's Office of the Future. This doesn't seem too big a stretch, at least in theory, especially considering ZHA boss Patrik Schumacher's interest in using modern technology to aid design.

Elsewhere at Milan Design Week, ZHA also unveiled another installation, Unconfined. It was conceived with Samsung to promote the recently-unveiled Galaxy S8 and S8+. Visitors journey through an environment inspired by the S8's design, with graphics from the new devices shown on large displays.

Unconfined was designed to promote the recently-unveiled Galaxy S8
Unconfined was designed to promote the recently-unveiled Galaxy S8

"Interacting with curved screens that float within space, visitors discover the fluidity of the new Samsung device," says ZHA. "Graphics from the new phones are sent to the large screens, surrounding visitors with within a swarm of digital creation before they move to the second zone where the wide variety of the S8's innovative features can be explored."

Both Thallus and Unconfined are on display at Milan Design Week until April 9.

Source: ZHA

View gallery - 13 images
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