Star Lounge | Bold Machines x Emerging Objects
Emerging Objects and Bold Machines: The Innovation Workshop at Stratasys have joined together to unveil one of the largest PLA based 3D printed structures built to date. The debut of this groundbreaking project is a demonstration of the architectural potential of 3D printing, particularly using the small MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D printer. The freestanding dome structure, “Star Lounge” is 8.5 feet tall with a footprint that measures approximately 11 feet by 11 feet. It is composed of 2073 hexagonal blocks printed in various translucent colors that correspond to a particular block type, which helps simplify the construction process and creates a beautiful and logical pattern of stars and hexagons that comprise 21 larger panels that are riveted together. The Star Lounge demonstrates that prefabricating 3D printed panels for architectural assembly is feasible and opens the door to creating 3D printed environments, walls, ceilings, partitions and cladding in building construction. The Emerging Objects team, comprised of Ronald Rael, Virginia San Fratello and Mona Ghandi, designed the structure in their Oakland studio and the components were printed and assembled by Bold Machines in their Brooklyn, NY headquarters. Fabricated using a ‘BotFarm’ of over 100 3D printers, the team was able to create a structure that maximized the efficiency of the print time and the print volume. 2 blocks could be printed per printer without support material in just over an hour. To facilitate file management only 28 different block types make up the doubly curved dome structure and each block has a number printed on the interior surface to locate the block in the assembly. Holes for rivets were also printed into the blocks. The overall assembled structure creates a decorative pattern reminiscent of traditional American quilts or Islamic geometric motifs that evoke “an otherworldly feeling” when inside.