Posted on Monday, July 8, 2013 by Jim Norrena
"Serpentine" is a 3D clay printer prototype [photo: Future Cities Lab]
Serpentine was awarded an editor's choice blue ribbon at the 2013 Bay Area Maker Faire.
Serpentine: Building-Scale 3D Clay Printer
Serpentine is a prototype for a building-scale open-source 3D printer currently being developed by Future Cities Lab in San Francisco in collaboration with Architecture students at CCA. The initial prototype is based on the RapMan, but is run entirely using Grasshopper / Firefly connected to a single arduino uno and off-the-shelf stepper motor drivers by Sparkfun.
What if an entire building could be 3D printed insitu out of local materials?
Could we revitalize an entire neighborhood and make it a test bed for a new kind of architecture?
How can we make a 3D printer that is open source, inexpensive, and accessible to architects, designers, and everyday citizens?
The long-term goals for the Serpentine project are to create a medium-to-large scale 3D printer. The small machine displayed at Maker Faire printed clay to demonstate the overall potential of the project.
Clay was chosen for this prototype because of its scalability across applications from tabletop artifact, to architectural component, to possibilities of spatial enclosure itself.