Home Applications & Case Studies ETH Zurich and partners present progress of highest digitally printed tower

ETH Zurich and partners present progress of highest digitally printed tower

3D printing is revolutionizing the construction industry by creating new opportunities for sustainable and efficient construction methods. One outstanding example of this is the “Tor Alva” project, in which ETH Zurich is working with regional industrial partners to build one of the tallest digitally printed towers in the world. The so-called “White Tower of Mulegns” is nearing completion and is expected to open at the end of September 2024.

The “White Tower” is made up of numerous printed column elements that were manufactured in the Uffer AG workshop in Savognin. These elements were produced using state-of-the-art 3D printing technology on the Hönggerberg in Zurich. ETH Zurich is working closely on this project with the Graubünden-based companies Zindel United, Invias AG, Uffer AG and the engineering firm Conzett und Partner. This cooperation enables a valuable exchange of knowledge and experience in the field of digital building culture.

The design of the “White Tower” is characterized by consistent material savings and optimized statics. These design decisions led to additional series of tests, which were successfully completed and further reduced the weight of the tower. An unexpected challenge was the presence of natural asbestos deposits underground, which delayed the foundation work. This and other complex challenges related to the transportation and assembly of the printed columns led to the postponement of the planned opening.

Interested parties will be able to visit the construction site from July. The garden of the newly opened Hotel Löwe offers a safe view of the construction work, during which the printed columns will be hoisted to their destination by a tall crane. In addition, digital film installations will be set up in the coach house to document the construction process and demonstrate the possibilities of digital imagery.

The “White Tower” is intended to contribute to the revitalization of the mountain village of Mulegns, which is threatened by emigration, and to promote gentle, high-quality tourism. The collaboration with ETH Zurich will also facilitate a regional and international transfer of knowledge, underlining Switzerland’s importance in the field of digital building culture.

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