large-format 3D printer manufacturer BigRep has unveiled a fully 3D printed wall with inbuilt water and drainage system. Developed by the company’s award-winning NOWLAB initiative the BANYAN ECO WALL has been created to demonstrate the bounds of design exclusive to this technology.
Stephan Beyer, CEO of BigRep, said, “Our BANYAN ECO WALL is adopting nature’s principle with a complex, smart, and elegant design only achievable with AM,”
“Traditional technologies such as milling or injection molding cannot deliver this level of complexity and dual functionality.”
“For the first time, thanks to AM and advanced CAD software,” Beyer added, “it is now possible to create complex functional designs within a fully digitized process chain.“
Large format 3D printing
Founded in 2014, BigRep appeared on the market with the BigRep ONE, a 3D printer operating a volume of 1 cubic meter. Since then the BigRep Studio, Edge and Pro have been released. The latest 3D printer, BigRep Pro, is fitted with Metering Extrusion Technology (MXT) and a motion control system by Bosch Rexroth.
NOWLAB is BigRep’s research and innovation lab which endeavors to push the boundaries of 3D printing. With the help of NOWLAB, BigRep has explored concepts such as the concrete smart wall structure and airless bicycle tires. At Formnext 2018, BigRep introduced the fully functional NERA e-motorcyle. This 3D printed design earned BigRep and NOWLAB the Creative Use of the 3D Printing accolade in the 2019 3D Printing Industry Awards.
Eco 3D printing
Printed using PETG, the BANYAN wall is 2000 x 2000 x 600 mm (XYZ) in size and divided into four parts. The planters installed in the wall are 3D printed using a food safe material, BigRep’s Black PRO HT.
The project was led by NOWLAB designers Mirek Classen (pictured above), Tobias Storz and Lindsay Lawson. The BANYAN ECO WALL has an integrated irrigation system with ‘microshowers’ that supplies the plants on the wall with water. According to the creators, the eco-structure could have a lasting influence on urban aesthetics and farming.
Daniel Büning, BigRep’s Chief Innovation Officer and co-founder of NOWLAB, said, “This prototype will push the boundaries of AM not only in irrigated plant systems, such as in vertical farming and green facades but for any application requiring embedded functionalities.”
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Featured image shows details of sprinkling water from the BANYAN ECO WALL by BigRep. Image via BigRep.