Tessa’s Weekly Picks – 3D Printed Facades


Tessa Blokland  

Detail of a 3D printed panel of the interior wall cladding of Emerging Objects' Cabin of 3D Printed Curiosities.

In the many blog posts we have written you can read that 3D printing (or Additive Manufacturing -AM) is happening now. A number of large manufacturers have already incorporated AM into their production processes. Although most of these 3D printed parts are not visible to us (sometimes they are hidden within the end product itself), I think it is time to show some big real-life 3D printed examples on the street.

We will have to wait until 2020 to see and experience this entirely 3D printed facade. Thanks to 3D printing it is possible to benefit from freedom of design and incorporate all kinds of functionalities into the one square meter panels, such as ventilation, insulation, and shading. A team of designers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), led by architect Moritz Mungenast of 3F studio is responsible for the design of the facade.

We have been following American architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello of Emerging Objects for a while now. Their 3D printing portfolio represents an extensive range of materials experiments, which led to the Cabin of 3D printed Curiosities. It not only houses 3D printed objects; the exterior facade and the interior wall cladding (see top image for a close-up look) are both 3D printed in different materials. With the Cabin, the architects would like to demonstrate the beauty of 3D printing as well as the craftsmanship of the technique.

The Arachne 3D Printed Building Facade of Chinese architect Lei Yu is a life-size 3D printed project. In a lecture at ETH Zurich (from on 42:47 to 48:16 minutes), Yu explains the process of design and realizing this immense project.

The last realized 3D printed facade is from Dutch architects DUS Architects, also knows for their 3D printed Canal House project. As they explained on their website: “For the EU presidency of the Netherlands [in 2016], we developed a façade design using large-scale 3D printed elements. The mobile building is made especially for the 6-month event, where all European politicians and top ministers gather.” I am curious where the mobile building is currently, and if it is still used to house meetings.

LEO Lane_Weekly Pick_3D Printed Facades

Each of Tessa’s weekly picks is a curated group of 3D printed designs, based on the week’s chosen theme. If you would like to offer a theme for Tessa, or if you have your own 3D printed weekly picks you would like to see featured, please let us know by commenting below. Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest weekly picks every week in your mailbox.

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