3D printing has long fascinated architects, with its capacity to translate a virtual model into physical reality in a single stroke. Unfortunately, the size of printable models has been limited by the small bed size of most 3D printers, thus restricting the ability to produce full-sized architectural components.
Technological advances in recent years, though, have led to an increase in the production scale of computer-automated additive manufacturing. Innovations such as Behrokh Khoshnevis's Contour Crafting process and Enrico Dini's 3D Building Printer have made the push-button generation of architecture a reality—although these technologies are still in the early stages of development.
On Sept. 16, Amsterdam-based DUS Architects unveiled another method for printing buildings at the PICNIC international media and technology festival. The firm's KamerMaker is a mobile printing pavilion—purportedly the first of its kind—that targets the middle scale between conventional prototype printing and whole-building printers. The 6m-tall room-builder device has an output size of up to 2 meters by 2 meters by 3.5 meters, which is large enough to produce full-scale furniture or an intimate interior space. The printer uses PLA-based bioplastic for its constructions, and presents a flexible option for mass-customizable furnishings and small architectural components.