What Matters

May 2021 Issue

From Dot Matrix to 3D

Who remembers a big box of continuous fold paper with perforated pin-fed sides that sat underneath your dot matrix printer which sounded like a chain saw when printing? We thought it was a miracle to print from our word processors and early PCs! No graphics to speak of, one font, and you could bold and italicize which seemed like absolute luxuries.  Underlining? Forget about it.

Nearly 40 years later, we can 3D print machine parts, houses, and objects of all kinds from plastic, metal, resin, clay, paper, carbon fiber, and graphite. There is a trend among architects utilizing 3D printing in their work which is to design spaces that may be more easily printed and to share these designs in a public way. Think of it as open source affordable housing.  This has the capacity to lead to the democratization of architecture. For instance, here are some housing plans to download and print!

3D Glasses Not Required

Consider this your intro class to 3D printed dwellings. Here are examples from around the world using a variety of materials.

Clay Dreaming

This 3D printed model home near Bologna Italy is sustainable, environmentally friendly, affordable, and absolutely stunning. Remarkably, it took only 200 hours to print and build. Even if you consider an 8 hour workday, then that is 25 workdays vs a stick-built house which takes an average of 7.7 months! 

Euston, We Do Not Have a Problem

The intersection of train travel with a potential, futuristic, 3D printed thermoplastic train station roof may be seen here at the Euston station in London. Light and temperature may be controlled naturally resulting in a sustainable, eco-friendly environment where 45 million people pass in or out every year. Brilliant!


Our featured project this month is a client who wanted a modern, inviting, and curated redesign of his high-rise condo. Our design team implemented wood slat elements, a custom leather dining banquette, and a linear fireplace to add warmth, modernity, and sophistication to the space. Take a look at some of our concept boards and design sketches below.