‘Radicant’ is a 3D printed wall panel created from waste materials by the Royal Danish Academy

At the Royal Danish Academy, CITA – Center for Information Technology and Architecture has developed Radicant: a 3D printed wall paneling system created from waste-stream-based biopolymer.

This innovative construction incorporates materials such as bone glue and cellulose fibers derived from agricultural residues and wastes, including bark, paper, recycled linen (cotton), and seagrass.

The structure was created using a custom print head connected to WASP Industrial Clay Extrusion Kit: a system that is able to heat up fluid-dense material during the printing.

The project is part of a broader research effort to apply environmentally friendly bio-based materials to architectural applications.

Radicant was developed within the CITAs Eco Metabolistic Architecture project and was part of the Living Prototypes exhibition at Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin.

3D printing bone glue and cellulose fibers

The mixture that was used to create Radicant is composed of bone glue and cellulose fibers derived from different waste streams, including the paper, timber, and textile industries. The bone glue biopolymer is loaded with different cellulose fibers, creating a fluid-dense paste.

In order to print large quantities of this material effectively, CITA incorporated WASP’s heated extrusion system into their robotic arm.

This custom setup was used for the creation of the whole 6-meter-tall structure, composed of different tiles that were printed and later assembled together.

The intricate filigree pattern allowed moisture to easily evaporate out of the material, letting the panels dry in a controlled and stable manner.

3d printing bone glue and cellulose fibers

Design pipeline and creation of Radicant

As suggested by the name, Radicant was designed as an adaptive and growing architectural concept, modeling itself around its attaching wall almost as a living creature, and carrying a high level of information within its structure.

The design pipeline for Radicant begins with a 3D scan to create an accurate digital model of the wall to which the paneling system will be attached. This model is then used to create a volumetric representation using a high-resolution voxel grid.

This voxel grid is used to create a series of ‘information layers’ that describe the attaching wall in great detail, including structural requirements, local heights, and pre-existing features. These layers will be used to model the paneling system on top of the wall, perfectly adapting to it.

design pipeline and creation of Radicant

The print path was created directly from the volumetric model, avoiding the creation and subsequent translation into g-code of an intermediate 3D model.

The structure resembles that of a vine, growing on a wall. In the main ‘branches’ the material is denser, gradually getting lighter as it moves away from its trunk. The overall wall piece is designed to be used as an interior wall or cladding, adapting to its surroundings.

3d printed wall panel with recycled biomaterials
3d printed recycled bone glue wall panel Royal Danish Academy

Project credits

Participants: Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen, Paul Nicholas, Martin Tamke. Ayoub Lharchi PhD candidate CITA, Gabriella Rossi PhD candidate CITA, Hasti Valipour Goudarzi, Carl Eppinger, Konrad Sonne, Tim Marvin Bruder

Collaborators: DTU, (Danmarks Tekniske Universitet) Arianna Rech, PhD Candidate DTU Anders Egede Daugaard, Associate Professor DTU

Funding: H2020 ERC Project Eco-Metabolistic Architecture (Grant Agreement Id:101019693) & Living Prototype Project Funded By Federal Institute For Research On Building, Urban Affairs And Spatial Development On Behalf Of The German Ministry For Housing, Urban Development

Images: Royal Danish Academy, Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin.

Bibliography:

  • Nicholas, P, Lharchi, A., Tamke, M., Valipour Goudarzi, H., Eppinger, C., Sonne, K., Rossi, G., Ramsgaard Thomsen, M., A Design Modeling Framework For Multi Material Biopolymer 3d Printing (2023) in Proceedings of Advances in Architectural Geometry (AAG) conference, 04-07 October 2023, Stuttgart.
  • Lharchi, A., Tamke, M., Valipour Goudarzi, H., Eppinger, C., Sonne, K., Nicholas, P., Ramsgaard Thomsen, M., Sensing and Augmenting for Adaptive Assembly Strategies (2023) in Proceedings of the eCAADe conference 2023 Digital Design Reconsidered, 20-23 September 2023, Graz.
  • Tamke, M., Chen, Tzu-Ying., Carrasco, O., Ryan, Á., Bouchi, D., Ramsgaard Thomsen, M., Nicholas, P., Dubor, A., Cabay E., Bangsgaard, A., Dörstelmann, M., Naldoni, L., Markopoulou, A., Knippers, J. “Another Logic For Architectural (Bio-) Design and Fabrication – Lessons From The Living Prototypes Project.” In Proceedings for the CEES 2023 Conference, edited by M. Theodoridou Morrow, R., Scott, J., Bridgens, B. Funchal, Portugal: Itecons – Instituto de Investigação e Desenvolvimento Tecnológico para a Construção, Energia, Ambiente e Sustentabilidade, 2023

WASP and Royal Danish Academy for education

For more than 3 years, WASP technology has been integrated into the laboratories of the Royal Danish Academy, available for students. Over the years, numerous academy students have utilized WASP 40100 and 2040 Clay for their thesis projects.

Developing a passion for the world of 3D printing, some of them have chosen to continue using our technologies to launch their own initiatives. Some research projects have explored the printability of unconventional materials, including recycled paper and mycelium. At the same time, others focused their research on shape modularity and structural benefits.

Here are a few research projects developed by students using our LDM technology at the academy:

Professional LDM 3D Printing

Discover Delta WASP 40100 Clay, the professional 3D printer for paste-based materials that students are using at the Royal Danish Academy. With Delta WASP 40100 Clay It’s possible to print directly on the floor or on a printing surface removable steel. You can also continue printing without waiting for the piece to dry and simply by moving the printer.

Delta WASP 40100 Clay