Building a House the Eco-Friendly Way with 3D Printing | KQED Arts

(soft relaxing music) – [Voiceover] We started 3D
printing six or seven years ago. – [Ronald] We’re testing how
to make a very large object with a very small 3D printer. So we printed these blocks
and we asked our son to build a wall and he took the bricks and he built this 3D printed wall himself. And we said, okay we’re on to something. We don’t know if 3D printing
will be a viable process for the building industry
but we believe so. And this is what we’re researching. This is about speculation
and investigation. I’m Ronald Rael. I’m an associate professor of architecture here at University of
California, Berkeley. – [Virginia] I’m Virginia San Fratello, an artist, an educator and an architect. – [Ronald] We have a studio
called Rael-San Fratello. – [Virginia] And we’re
partners in emerging objects. – Most of the objects that are 3D printed that people know about
are made out of plastic. We wanted to make things out of different kinds of materials
that had more integrity. That’s really great material. In some way, all materials
come from a powdered source, whether it’s powdered like
sand that turns into glass, or iron ore that turns into steel. So, we’re interested in
those kinds of materials and how they can be used in a 3D printer. This is salt that’s been harvested from the San Francisco Bay. We’re gonna make a 3D printable material. – [Virginia] 3D printing with salt is incredibly inexpensive. It only takes sun and wind
to make this material. – [Ronald] There’s 330 tiles
that have been printed. – It goes back to this idea of using literally the ground underneath your feet. I’m thinking about how that material can become the architecture. – [Ronald] What one
can do at this material and what its possibilities are. – [Virginia] These materials
that we’re using, many of them, are already in the construction
industry way-stream. So, we’ve developed a
formula for 3D printing with tricycle rubber tires. Tires are one of the world’s biggest material waste problems. We 3D print with cement, with wood. – Coffee, tea, sugar, bone. The objects that you see on the table are all about a controlled failure. It all started by
wanting to 3D print clay. We were really learning
how the printer works. How does clay behave. We traveled all over the
world looking at buildings made out of earth. In traditional cultures, frugality drives design often. And frugality can make
something enormously elegant because something has to be
useful and has to be beautiful and has to be well made at the same time. – [Virginia] The done
mesh pattern in here? Like this? We’re currently working towards designing and 3D printing a house. – [Ronald] We’re not so
excited about the idea that a single giant machine
can 3D print a house out of a single material. – Matias your dinosaur’s
gonna be done in a while. – We like our floors maybe to be a different material from our walls. We like some materials soft
and some materials hard. And we’ll just keep this flush. – [Virginia] Currently we
have 3D printed clay tiles that make up the exterior cladding. – We’re allowing the machine and gravity and other forces to take effect so that each part ultimately
ends up being different. I can totally imagine it being
the whole skin of a building. Yeah, can’t you? – [Virginia] And we want to 3D print everything in the house. – That is 3D printed. That is a 3D print lamp. – If we could 3D print the
cutlery and the dishes as well it would be a total work of art. I think a lot of times we fell like we have to justify beauty. – [Ronald] Comments are
always, is it functional or is it just beautiful. But why is beauty never
considered a function? – [Virginia] We look at
our own work and we say, okay you know it’s not right until everyone around you can look at it and say, that’s beautiful. – If beauty has a function,
it makes us happy. We would see something and say, what’s the function of that pattern? It makes you happy. – Yes. We’re inspired by the
Berkeley Botanical Gardens. – It’s completely twisted
and folded up on itself. – The plants collected there, their forms, coriaceous surfaces. They’re looking along the perimeter. – Like hair. – Plants are good at
controlling and funneling water, shaping themselves so they
point towards the sun. Oh look at that one. So they do some things
that we would like to do in our designs. – [Ronald] What if a brick
can also be a planter and hold a vegetation? – [Virginia] Our cool bricks
are designed to take advantage of passive cooling technology. – [Ronald] Maybe here
there’s a new kind of structural shell that you can occupy. I think one of my focuses,
when I teach students is that I’d like them to know
that design isn’t shopping. I can’t wait to see it all come together. They’re in control of the making process. – Now, we’re trying this woven one. My name’s Rebecca Rasano,
I’m a grad student here. I’m looking at melquid
as a building material. Actually I was thinking maybe
we could use that chico. It’s got acoustic dampening, thermal insulation, absorbing oil. – They can draw inspiration
from the world around them. From art and from theory. And they can be innovative. Here’s the old printed hem. – So how can we make something
new to be implemented in a new architecture
for the 21st century. – How much function can
we pack in to design. How many layers of possibility. I think that’s what we’re after. (soft relaxing music)

15 thoughts on “Building a House the Eco-Friendly Way with 3D Printing | KQED Arts

  1. Like your work nice to watch.
    Sorry to ask cause it's not the subject…
    But does anyone knows the name of that electric bike ?

  2. You do understand that function is more important than beauty when talking about building things, especially those meant to house people. My salt roof is beautiful and fluid until it rains and my house falls apart and kills me.

  3. Nothing these 2 Tree hungers made is structural Its all shit that already has been made. Made by molds or castings! And are completely more affordable and faster to make! these shit heads want to just watch a machine make something lol. Someone already made a machine that CNC a building its not 3d printing lol Everything in this video can be made in a mold or cast a lot faster then how they do it. All this is is Americans getting fucking lazy! Just want to push a button and eat a fucking cupcake. Print some re bar and make a bridge abutment faster and more sound faster Than a crew on union carpenters and Iron workers lead by me can Form It tied rod and pour the concrete! Ill challenge you to that and I will put up all 4 of my houses if you can! No Bullshit! Morons!

  4. That was a inspiring video! I wish I could have more people like these in my social and professional circles! One month closer to people like these and you are never the same! Keep rocking!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *