Art & Sculpture

India’s largest 3D printed sculpture installed at Mumbai International Airport

London-based architectural studio Nudes, Fracktal Works, an Indian 3D Printer manufacturer, and Folds Design Studios have installed a fully 3D printed sculpture at the Mumbai International Airport.

Named “Jhada”, the installation spans over 8ft high and 6ft in breadth and comprises of 61 individual FFF pieces assembled onto a metal structural column. This model is said to represent the potential of scale and digital fabrication which has yet to be explored fully in the country.

“Rather than using the traditional ways of cutting plywood or structures based on traditional materials like metal, Jhada was envisioned to leverage the cutting edge design tools, materials, and 3D Printing to build something that is otherwise impossible,” explained Krishna Murthy, Principal Architect at Folds Design Studios.

The 3D printed Jhada installation at Mumbai Airport. Photo via Fracktal Works.
The 3D printed Jhada installation at Mumbai Airport. Photo via Fracktal Works.

The 3D printed Jhada

Fracktal Works develops and houses FFF 3D printers known as the Julia series. Over 20 of the company’s industrial 3D printers were used to construct parts for the Jhada installation. These parts were then post-processed and assembled to form the final installation on the metal structural column and then transported to the airport.

Jhada was built just under seven days, which is said to be a first for art installations in India. It is designed to symbolize the growth and energy of Maharashtra, a state spanning west-central India, as it gradually rises from the ground to occupy the space of an all-encompassing canopy. Murthy states that the Jhada is displaying the state as both “protector” and “mentor”.

Vijay Raghav Varada, Co-founder of Fracktal Works, said, “It’s not usual to have architecture and fabrication under one roof; Folds Design Studios is a very unique place where the architects have an extensive hands-on approach towards their craft. [This] really made this whole project a reality.”

Post processing 3D printed parts for the Jhada installation. Photo via Fracktal Works.
Post-processing 3D printed parts for the Jhada installation. Photo via Fracktal Works.

Additive manufacturing and architecture

According to Fracktal Works, this project sought to create a new standard in the architectural community in India and also worldwide. Nudes Architecture has previously worked with Zaha Hadid Architects who are responsible for several projects using additive manufacturing. This includes a curved shell concrete pavilion using a 3D knitted formwork and 3D Bow & Rise printed chairs.

The Jhada sculpture will be on display at Mumbai Airport T2 until next month.

Julia 3D prints used to create the Jhada installation. Photo via Fracktal Works.
Julia 3D printers used to create the Jhada installation. Photo via Fracktal Works.

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Featured image shows the 3D printed Jhada installation at Mumbai Airport. Photo via Fracktal Works.

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