AMbigram: World’s largest 3D printed dome to be unveiled at Formnext 2022 in Frankfurt

The AMbigram design was created by Melvin Lauwers and Jeremy Bertrand as a part of their Bachelor’s program thesis at Thomas More Hogeschool.

At the world’s largest 3D printing trade show, Formnext 2022 in Germany, Flam3D, a Flemish-Dutch 3D printing organization, will feature the demonstration of “AMbigram.”

A 24m2 dome structure was constructed by more than 30 Flemish and Dutch businesses and research organizations as a demonstration of the might of the regional economy and the possibilities of 3D printing. 

Due to this construction, not only will the region be represented on the biggest group stand, but it will also have the biggest demonstrator ever constructed by the largest number of participants – claims Flam3D. The AMbigram is made up of 130 3D-printed parts. As a result, the installation serves as an eco-friendly display stand and a technology demonstration. The construction comprises 400 individual components and can be assembled within a day. Flam3D says the AMbigram is a global first.

“3D printing is already considered a full-fledged manufacturing technology, but it remains a challenge for many companies to deploy the technology where it is useful and relevant. We were looking for a way to make that deployment visible and tangible”, said Kris Binon, Director of Flam3D. “You have a set of technologies here that gives you opportunities to make your products faster, cheaper, and/or better. Our companies can really benefit from that.”

“The AMbigram illustrates some of the advantages that Additive Manufacturing offers to gain a competitive advantage”, said the Director of Flam3D. “First of all, the technology grants incredible freedom of shape, without sacrificing strength. This results in additional design flexibility, which also makes the construction ideal for reuse at fairs and events. In that respect, the dome is a sustainable project. None of it ends up in the bin after a trade fair.” 

3D printing – a future for construction

In a project led by Neri Oxman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) Mediated Matter lab a 3D printing technique for building massive structures was deployed to create a dome. The 14.6m diameter by 3.7m tall hemi-ellipsodial dome section was 3D printed in just over half a day. An expanding foam is sprayed through a nozzle that is controlled by a robot arm that is installed in a vehicle. The foam is built up in layers through repeated strokes. The cavity made by constructing two parallel walls can then be filled with concrete once the foam contracts and settles. 

Elsewhere, in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, the Military Engineering Services (MES) of the Indian Army finished building its first 3D-printed homes this year. The two houses, which were 3D printed by Chennai-based building start-up Tvasta in just 30 days, are reported to be the first of their kind in the nation and were constructed to fulfill the expanding housing demands of the Indian Armed Forces.

Also, Alquist 3D, a construction company, recently announced plans to construct 200 homes in the US state of Virginia. Alquist 3D announced that it plans to complete the largest construction project made possible with the technology to date, across the state in Pulaski and Roanoke, after completing the construction of the “first owner-occupied 3D printed home” earlier this year. It is anticipated that the area will make an excellent test bed for demonstrating the effectiveness of 3D printing in producing accessible new dwellings because of its fast-expanding workforce.

Nominations for the 3D Printing Industry Awards 2022 have now commenced. Who do you think should make it to the shortlists for this year’s show? Nominate now; the form closes at the end of the month.

To stay up to date with the latest 3D printing news, don’t forget to subscribe to the 3D Printing Industry newsletter or follow us on Twitter, or like our page on Facebook.

While you’re here, why not subscribe to our Youtube channel? Featuring discussion, debriefs, video shorts, and webinar replays.

Are you looking for a job in the additive manufacturing industry? Visit 3D Printing Jobs for a selection of roles in the industry.