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Grotto interior
Digital Grotesque/Michael Hansmeyer & Benjamin Dillenburger
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封面照片
Digital Grotesque/Michael Hansmeyer & Benjamin Dillenburger
image © Hansmeyer / Dillenburger
所有图片及文字来源:Michael Hansmeyer & Benjamin Dillenburger

 

Digital Grotesque is the first fully immersive, solid, human-scale, enclosed structure that
is entirely 3D printed out of sand. This structure, measuring 16 square meters, is
materialized with details at the threshold of human perception. Every aspect of this
architecture is composed by custom-designed algorithms.
The combination of additive manufacturing and computational design produces a new,
non-standardized, highly differentiated and spatially complex architecture. An
architecture emerges between chaos and order, both natural and artificial, yet neither
foreign nor familiar: a Digital Grotesque.

Design by Algorithm
How could an architecture that is entirely designed by algorithms look? In the project
Digital Grotesque, we develop customized algorithms to recursively refine and enrich a
simple input form – until a complex geometry of 260 million individual facets is produced.
This single process generates many scales of architecture, from the overall form with its
broad curvature, to local surface formations, down to minute textures. They create an
architecture that would otherwise be undrawable, or even unconceivable using traditional
means.

Printing Architecture
How can one translate these abstract forms into a physical space? Today, additive
manufacturing heralds a revolution in fabrication: Just as with printing ink on paper, the
amount of information and complexity of the output is no longer constrained. Yet in
architecture, high-resolution additive manufacturing has up to now been used only for
small scale models.
Digital Grotesque brings additive manufacturing technology to a true architectural scale.
Not a small model is printed, but the actual room itself. Its geometry consists of hundreds
of millions of individual facets printed at a resolution of a tenth of a millimeter,
constituting a 3.2-meter high, 16 square meter large room.
Digital Grotesque is a lavish, exhilarating space, full of details at the threshold of
perception, waiting to be discovered and spurring one’s imagination of what is yet to be
created.
Digital Grotesque in Figures:
Virtual:
• Algorithmically generated geometry
• 260 million surfaces
• 30 billion voxels
• 78 GB production data
Physical:
• Sand-printed elements (silicate and binder)
• 16 square meters, 3.2 meters high
• 11 tons of printed sandstone
• 0.13 mm layer resolution
• 4.0 x 2.0 x 1.0 meter maximum print space
Timeline:
• Design development: 1 year
• Fabrication (printing): 1 month
• Assembly: 1 day
Partners and Sponsors
• Chair for CAAD, Prof. Hovestadt, ETH Zurich
• Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich
• voxeljet AG
• FRAC Centre
• Strobel Quarzsand GmbH
• Pro Helvetia
Research for the Digital Grotesque project was carried out at the Chair for CAAD at the
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. All components were printed by
voxeljet AG. The first part of Digital Grotesque is a commission by FRAC Centre for its
permanent collection.
Team
Fabrication:
Maria Smigielska Miro Eichelberger
Yuko Ishizu Jeanne Wellinger
Tihomir Janjusevic Nicolás Miranda Turu
Evi Xexaki Akihiko Tanigaito
Video & Photo:
Demetris Shammas Achilleas Xydis

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