3D printed concrete gradient furniture and ceramic vases

A collaboration between Vienna-based designer Philipp Aduatz and Austrian manufacturer Incremental3d resulted in a series of 3D printed concrete gradient furniture and ceramic gradient vases.

3D printing concrete is an up-and-coming fabrication technology allowing to print large and complex structures in a relatively short time, with less material use then traditional methods. The method has already been used to print anything from furniture to entire houses.

Incremental3d is currently exploring the possibilities of dyeing concrete. They apply dye during the process directly into the nozzle, which reduces workload, waste, and time delay. Additionally, it allows for locally coloured design.

In their partnership with Philipp Aduatz, they further developed this technology by designing a collection of benches and a large vase. By the application of a gradient and the exploration of possible shapes through an interactive working method they developed an approach to exercise the design process throughout 3D concrete printing.

One challenge is to develop a suitable reinforcement technology, as concrete is a material with little tensile strength. The team used a semi-automatic strategy in which the required payloads were calculated, tested and proved by the high performance of steel, which was integrated in the design.

The vases were made in a similar way. While one large one was made with concrete, they also experimented with 3D printing ceramics. After manually processing porcelain with water to achieve the right viscosity, the partly colored mixture is filled into a tube where it gets pushed through by an air compressor and extruded onto a clay slab. Layer after layer, the delta printer builds up the programmed volume. The piece is dried for a week, coated in a glaze and fired. In this stage, the final colour develops.

Photos: Georg Molterer / Paris Tsitsos / Petra Wieser