3D Printing at Smart Geometry

For the 15th year SmartGeometry (SG) has gathered a global community of innovators and pioneers in the field of architectural design with computational tools. This year the architects were paired with experts outside the field of design such as cognitive scientists and chemists. Purpose? To collaborate on some of architecture’s most challenging problems.

Information technology has introduced new potentials for building designers and SG is at the forefront in the exploration of this territory. Computational design and digital manufacturing are creating changes in the design process, often shifting the boundaries of disciplinary roles. At SG 2016, designers and researchers operated between, across, and at the edge of their own disciplines. They challenged how they work and connected and borrowed from other disciplines, thereby collaborating to solve complex and connected problems.

This year Magicfirm Europe AB was invited to support the conference with ZYYX 3D Printers. Nine printers ran more or less around the clock and were used for a variety of purposes in the different clusters:

Sensory Detective

The purpose of the “Sensory Detective”-cluster was to question the dynamics of heat, moisture and air within an atmospheric pavilion and to design modular architectural elements and experience their effect. The intricate design of several of these elements could be brought into existence through the help of 3D Printing.

Sensory Detective I


The “Nano-Gyroids”-cluster was a collaboration between architects and crystallographers to bring nano-structures of chemistry into the world of architecture. These structures were then evaluated with the help of 3D printing.

At the other end of the scale, the “Calibrated Modelling”-cluster used 3D printing to quickly iterate through different component designs that would allow them to install their real-life prototypes in the workshop hall.

Atmospheric Delight

“Atmospheric Delight” investigated how biometric data could be used to control the micro climate of a room in order to satisfy the different needs of different individuals. In this cluster, 3D printing was used in a very practical way: To create components such as casings for Bitalino circuits and to build lamp-holders.

Atmospheric Delight II
Parallell parametrics I

Parallell parametrics

investigated how to perform collaborative work on digital designs and 3D printing was used to evaluate whether the result would hold.

20000 Blocks

A different type of 3D printing was used in the “20000 Blocks”-cluster wherearchitectural models were designed in Minecraft, the computer game, and then constructed from wooden cubes using a robot!

20000 Blocks I

Xavier De Kestelier and Samuel Wilkinson of SmartGeometry: “The ZYYX 3D Printers have been really reliable and helpful in our work during the SmartGeometry conference; we certainly kept them very busy! “

Anders Johansson, CMO of Magicfirm Europe: “We are extremely proud and happy to have been part of this unique and innovative conference. This is a far cry from printing toys or technology for the sake of technology; this is 3D printing being used as a vital tool in progressive and collaborative research.”

Printers kept busy