Sismaitalia and Massivit 1800 3D printer restore Italian Palace

Sismaitalia, an Italian service bureau recently employed Massivit 3D printing in an architectural restoration project.

A palace, renovated as a hotel, located in the city Ferrara, Northern Italy, was in need of urgent repairs as five of its balcony capitals were crumbling. Sismaitalia was called in by the owners after they realized that restoration of the balcony would require hours of manual labor, making it costly and a time-consuming process. 

Federica Tisato, Marketing and Communication Manager of Sismaitalia, explained, “the owners required them [capitals] to be restored urgently […] with the capability to 3D print super-large objects, we can provide our customers with exact replicas within a fraction of the time and cost compared to traditional methods.”

Details of a deteriorating capital of the Spada Place balcony. Image via Massivit 3D
Details of a deteriorating capital of the Spada Place balcony. Image via Massivit 3D

Massivit 1800 3D printer

Sismaitalia installed a Massivit 1800 3D printer this year to provide its customers with on-demand home decor solutions.

The 3D printer is manufactured by Israel-based Massivit 3DIt has a maximum build size of 1200 × 1500 × 1800 mm and uses Massivit 3D’s patented Gel Dispensing Printing (GDP) technology. The gel used by the printer a proprietary material called Dimengel. It is photo polymer which cures under UV light exposure.

3D models for palace restoration were designed with the help of photographs of the declining capitals. All the five capitals were printed in two different sizes: 480mm x 430mm x 215mm, and the larger set measuring 790mm x 790mm x 215mm.

The 3D printed capitals a have a hollow core, which makes them lighter, therefore, easier to handle and transport. It took 20 hours per pair to print them.

“Beyond this, as the owners only required the 3D printed capitals for aesthetics, we could quickly produce the hollow structure and strengthen these with polyurethane foam to withstand the weight of the balcony,” Tisato said.  “This ensured that manufacturing costs were kept to a minimum.”

The 3D printed capitals. Image via Massivit 3D
The 3D printed capitals. Image via Massivit 3D

3D printed houses and decor

The architectural potential of 3D printing, both on a large and a small-scale, is being rapidly recognized throughout the industry. In June 2018 Italian architecture firm CLS Architetti displayed its first 3D printed house at the Milan Design Week 2018.

A month later in Nantes, France, a French family became the first inhabitants of a 3D printed house. The house was a part of Yhnova project, a social housing project led by the University of Nantes.

And German large-format 3D printer manufacturer BigRep has been exploring the concrete casting process.

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Featured image shows the Spada Palace in Ferrara, Italy. Image via Sign Africa.