XtreeE 3D concrete printing
French company XtreeE has been using 3D printed concrete in projects since 2015. Their latest creation, completed in March 2017, is an organic truss-style support structure for a preschool playground in Aix-en-Provence.
The finished piece stands 4 m tall and blends seamlessly with the concrete of the preschool building.
To create the structure, XtreeE programmed an industrial robot to extrude a special mixture of concrete to form the ‘envelope’, or outer layer, of the organic structure. The hollow envelope was then filled with concrete and filed to remove the appearance of each printed layer, creating a smooth surface that calls to mind the twisted roots of a tree.
The structure was printed in segments at the XtreeE studio and then assembled on site. The printing process took over 15 hours, however, they believe that in theory, once the print program is written, it could be used to produce a large number of identical concrete supports with less workforce requirements than traditional methods.
Content and images courtesy of XtreeE.
Images © Lisa Ricciotti
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