Home Applications & Case Studies WASP technology in use: 3D printing at the Bartlett School of Architecture

WASP technology in use: 3D printing at the Bartlett School of Architecture

WASP has been using its 3D printing technology at universities around the world since 2012. This includes the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London (UCL), where a Delta WASP 40100 clay printer has been used in the laboratories of the Faculty of Design and Manufacture for over two years. Thanks to their high accessibility and open system structure, these devices offer ideal conditions for testing new materials and additive manufacturing technologies. Under the guidance of Professor Arthur Prior, students had the opportunity to work directly with the machines and realize innovative projects.

In 2024, the students of the ‘Additive Manufacturing Group’ completed their Master’s theses and published their research results. The group consisted of two teams, each presenting their own projects: Tom Younger, Tianyang Li and Qinyuan Zheng with their project on multi-nozzle additive manufacturing and Rameshwari Jonnalagedda with the TerraMound project. In the same year, the thesis project Ceram-Screens by Monisha Sridhara, a Bartlett School alumni, was ranked 5th in the Architectural Construction category in Material Source’s “Top 24 3D Print Project and Practitioners for 2024” article.

The team led by Tom Younger, Tianyang Li and Qinyuan Zheng developed a multi-nozzle extrusion system aimed at producing auxetic silicone tiles for a pneumatic shading system. These lightweight and “breathing” window frame structures regulate the amount of light entering a building’s façade. By pumping air into the chambers filled with silicone membranes, the auxetic patterns expand and allow more light through the façade. A photosensor controls the inflation of the cushions based on the light conditions. This project shows how architectural structures can be designed flexibly and energy-efficiently using 3D printing.

The TerraMound project by Rameshwari Jonnalagedda aims to develop an efficient cooling system using ceramic 3D printing. Inspired by the natural shapes of termite mounds, this system uses minimalist surface geometries to maximize cooling and airflow. A prototype includes a desktop fan with a porous ceramic structure through which air is drawn upwards while water flows down from above, increasing efficiency through evaporative cooling. The project demonstrates the potential for using such structures in walls to regulate heat, air and light.

Monisha Sridhara’s Ceram-Screens project is based on the traditional Jaali screens of Indian architecture, which control light and heat while improving ventilation. These ornaments, originally made of stone or wood, have now been reinterpreted using ceramic 3D printing. The project aims to revive the flexibility and functionality of this traditional technique through modern additive manufacturing techniques. Printed on the Delta WASP 40100 clay, the modules were glazed and assembled with cement mortar to increase their resistance.

These projects illustrate the versatility and potential of 3D printing in architecture. By utilizing WASP technology, the students were able to develop innovative solutions that push the boundaries of traditional construction methods and enable new approaches to design and fabrication.

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