Branch Technology is a Chattanooga-based startup that thinks it can change the future of building construction. The company 3D prints open matrices that provide the internal structure for homes and other buildings.
Branch recently built 3D-printed walls using the world’s largest 3D printer. It even held a design contest that will result in a 3D-printed house.
Branch is also claiming it has constructed the tallest 3D-printed object in America: an 18-foot-tall sculpture. Named the TN-01, the sculpture was 3D printed in segments and then put together at the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA). As 3DPrint.com points out, the sculpture “vaguely resembles a massive pair of legs, as though the lower half of a giant were towering over the rest of the pieces in the exhibit.”
The sculpture, a collaboration between Branch and architect Keith Kaseman, was designed to show off Branch’s Cellular Fabrication (C-Fab) 3D printing process, which aims to build structures inspired by structures found in nature. Branch’s philosophy is that effective architectural 3D printing should result in stable structures, not by using as much material as possible, but by using as little material as possible in the most effective form.
“We create the complexity of a cellular construct into which economical construction materials are applied to provide the function and strength of a wall assembly. Composite structures are created using the same methodology with which nature builds,” the company says. “Like bones in our body or trees in the forest, optimized geometries are made strong and functional by the material filling the matrix. The interior and exterior skins can then be finished in any fashion.”
“The work represents a pilot project for Branch’s freeform 3D printing process,” says Branch Technology’s Shawn Thorne. “The design challenged and expanded upon Branch’s printing capabilities while highlighting how technology can enable new possibilities for designers.”