Chinese design studio Room Z has used bespoke large format extrusion 3D printing technology and a Polymaker PLA filament to create “an artistic landscape product”.
The Digital Circular Pavilion sculpture is made up of a series of 3D printed modular pieces that have been put together to create a work of art that also doubles as a social meeting point.
In making the 3D printed parts, Spazio Z 100 used its large format 3D printers and more than 800kg of L3003 PLA filament from Polymaker, each part taking about a month to print. The resulting sculpture is one of 20 art installations in ‘Design Shanghai 2021’ and stands in front of the old Shikumen building in Xintiandi, Shanghai. Its upward-growing branches are designed to create an “organic space to escape the urban style of downtown Shanghai,” while the white surface contrasts with the “dark gray background color of Shikumen,” according to the founder of Spazio Z Zihan Zhao.
Spazio Z is making increasing use of 3D printing as it transfers digital works of art into physical space. In this project, the L3003 PLA filament, commercialized by Polymaker for “high pressure in production, print farms and large-scale projects”, was combined with its bespoke 3D printers before the parts were subjected to a coating process. PLA was selected after an in-depth analysis of the physical force, overall load-bearing capacity, structural curvature and other factors of an individual module, and the material was deemed suitable when backed with an aluminum armature and coated with polyester filler. By coating the printed parts with polyester putty and sanding them smooth, the pavilion sections were strengthened, protected from UV and thermal radiation and given a clean, smooth surface without textures or layer lines. After coating, the parts were assembled into five large module groups and transported to the construction site for final assembly.
Using 3D printing, Spazio Z says it completed the job at a lower cost than it could have done with traditional methods. At the end of the exhibition, the sculpture will be dismantled and recycled.
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