Can individual modern facades be produced in an economical way?

3D printed models to be inserted into the facade tool - Credits: FIT Additive Manufacturing Group / Surface of panels mounted on wall with imprinted cavities - Credits: FIT Additive Manufacturing Group

The current megatrend of individualization can, in architecture, best be summarized by the formula "exceptional thinking – exceptional living – exceptional building". On the AM campus of FIT Additive Manufacturing Group an eye-catching new boarding house has been erected, in a close collaboration between our product designers, architects Berschneider + Berschneider, and facade supplier Verotech. The facade stands out by a novel surface accentuated by a complex pattern of cavities, so that the massive geometry of the matte dark cube gains a sense of delicacy and lightness.

The project "Facade 3000" is an innovative case study for rapid tooling in architecture. The special challenges included...

  • creating a cost-saving tool to produce the facade panels
  • ensuring the fast and economic production of the mounting panels
  • producing a large surface area
  • realizing a unique and individual facade design

The characteristic cavities are achieved by specially designed inserts into the panel molds. The crystal design is an allusion to the polygons that are the typical element of the triangle mesh – the smallest unit of data models in 3D printing and a very subtle design message. FIT also produced the aluminum models using Laser Melting – a solution which turned out to be significantly less costly than the equivalent conventional techniques. The only finishing effort of the AM parts was blasting and grinding the edges evenly. They were immediately ready to use in the production tool.

Facade supplier Verotech then produced the design panels. They were easily integrated into an efficient workflow. Production speed of 20 simultaneous panels (in rotation) was another positive expense factor. In terms of design, the arrangement of the cavities on each panel allows to create an eclectic pattern over the whole wall, where all panels are seamlessly mounted to form an even surface.

The Boarding House is seen as an attractive enhancement to the AM campus to host guests from abroad but also as an additional service for employees and will be opened in late autumn.

Am Grohberg 1
92331 Lupburg

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