Benjamin Dillenburger x Michael Hansmeyer's ornate sandstone wall has 200 million surfaces

Photo Peter Andrew

Pushing the limits of the human eye's perception, Swiss architect-cum-programmers Benjamin Dillenburger and Michael Hansmeyer joined forces with Design Exchange Toronto to 3D print a sandstone wall detailed down to the millimetre.

With the help of digital technology, the intense details of the Arabesque Wall – layers upon layers of scrolls surfaced with an intricate surface texture influenced by Islamic art – have been realized within a period of nearly four months. A custom-tailored software translated the wall's detailed ornamentation into a high resolution of nearly 200 million surfaces. Materialized with sand granules on a 1.7m x 1m printer, the duo both demonstrates the ease of mass customization and eliminates the remnant associations between luxury and complexity. Taking 4 months to develop, 4 days to fabricate and 4 hours to assemble, the 3m-tall wall is comprised of twelve printed sections bound into a single entity with silicate, cumulatively weighing in at just under a ton.

As an extension of the world's first 3D printed room unveiled by the duo back in 2013 – Digital Grotesque – Dillenburger and Hansmeyer debuted their microscopically detailed wall section at the Design Museum's 3DXL – A Large-Scale 3D Printing Exhibition which presents a host of large-scale projects also produced by technological advancements. Other projects included in the show – such as the 3D Printed Canal House by Dus Architects and Saltygloo by Emerging Objects – collectively demonstrate the fusion of the worlds of construction, design and technology.

See the wall segment for yourself at 3DXL – A Large-Scale 3D Printing Exhibition at Canada's Design Museum in Toronto until 16 August 2015.


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