Project Sponsor: Amarillo National Bank ($30,000)
Collaboration with Lenora Ask, AIA
Research Assistant: Zoe Wall
Fabrication Assistants: Alexis Martinez, Abigail Petrofes, Enrique Espinoza, Demarcus Clarke
Firing Assistance: Von Venhuizen
This project was a collaboration between an architect, designer, and mason who designed, fabricated, and constructed a wall featuring 320 ceramic 3D-printed blocks. The design utilized shifted sinusoidal layers to serve a dual purpose: blocking views and directing prevailing winds to the mechanical units to enhance efficiency. This collaboration between various experts created a final project that none would have been able to complete individually in their silos. Each step of the fabrication and design process involved iteration and experimentation, allowing for findings to improve future projects. Overall, the project provides insight into interdisciplinary fabrication and demonstrates the importance of involving various experts to tackle the challenge of scaling highly customizable 3D-printed ceramics to the construction scale.
This diagram shows where the cars go through the drive-through; therefore, blocks were used to obstruct the view of the mechanical systems. A gradient of blocks was used. Block designs C and D were used where the cars would spend the most time, so the views were the most obstructed.
This diagram shows the prevailing winds passing through the southern end of the wall and over the mechanical system.
Diagram denoting the design logic of the block design.
3D-printed numeric stamps were created to denote the block's layer shift.
The photo at left shows a print with too much shift where the layers are not supported, resulting in a failed print. The photo at the center shows a block that was not removed from the bed after printing nor covered in plastic. This led to the overlapped layers splitting, highlighted in blue. The photo at right shows a print where the tube did not have enough clay to finish the last layer, highlighted in blue.
A layer height of 3 millimeters was used to conserve clay and shorten print times, increasing from 1.2 mm. This diagram highlights the sectional differences.
Left to right, the final layers of a block are printed, the blocks are loaded into the kiln, and the kiln is fully loaded.
The top row left to right, wax resist applied, block before glaze dip, block after glaze dip, blocks with glaze drying. The bottom row left to right, glaze kiln loaded before and after firing.
The image at left is the project's current state as of June 2, 2024. The speculative render at the left shows the completed design.
Image of one of the final blocks showcasing the 3mm shift design.
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