The Method and the Device
D- Shape is a particle bed 3D printer for architectural uses patented in 2005 by Enrico Dini as a ‘Translational Invention’, inspired by the powder bed 3D printer for office environment invented at MIT in the late 80’s.
D-Shape materializes buildings or building blocks directly from your computer via a process of alternating layers of granular material and ‘writing’ on them with a binder that turns the granular material into a shape. D-Shape deposits any mix of granular material in a range of diameter starting from 0,1 to 4 mm ( and theoretically also up to 20 mm, if requested), and any liquid Binder having a viscosity between water and a cementitious slurry. The nozzles of the D-Shape’s printer head deposit droplets of binder’ whose volume is about 100 times bigger than existing inkjet printer heads.
The machine consists of a rigid 4×4 meter frame, a large flatbed and a custom print head holding up to 300 nozzles. CAD-CAM software drives the machinery during the building process, scanning across the surface and depositing droplets (voxels) of the binder.
The CAD process
- Design concept
- D-Shape consultation
- Submit 3D CAD file
- Open within Monolite software:
- Digital slice and binder layers
The CAM process
- Deposition of the sand bed
- Spreading and flattening
- Binder placed in 2-4 passes
- 5 millimeters layer increase
Curing and Finishing
- Removal of the supporting powder bed
- Post-infiltration with extra binder
- Sanding & polishing