Who Owns the 3D Printers?



Who Owns the 3D printers explores the ownership of the technology of 3D printing in the hands of various types of people. While we know that printing can vary in shape and size on a smaller scale, it seems to happen less on a larger scale format. These prints start to become more modular and the same typology.

With the function of 3D printing being able to create custom prototypes and objects to demonstrate the viability, it is difficult to find forms that challenge and question the paradigm of 3D printing from the perspective of layer height definition, materiality, and size constraints.

The Function of Form by Farshid Moussavi is a publication done by Harvard University Graduate School of Design. This book studies forms throughout the architectural design and starts to categorize and breakdown elements of forms, such as domes, shells, and tensile members.

Work done by companies such as AIBuild and Nagami Design starts to illustrate how 3D printing can start to question how these fabrication techniques can add another layer of aesthetics, rather than merely mimicking the geometry.

Precedents such as Knitcrete done at the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporaneo by Zaha Hadid Architects’ computation and research group and ETH Zurich. Although the form is not 3D printed, it brings up questions about the complexity of how 3D printing can show form and be manipulated in various methods as a process, rather than acting as the final production method.
Faculty Advisor:
Jose Sanchez