A 3D printed pavilion made of sand

A collaboration between Mamou-Mani & Studio Precht, the Sandwaves is the largest sand-printed installation to date, made of 58 3D printed elements of sand and furan resin.

Made for the Diryah Season event curated by Design Lab Experience, the 58 3D printed elements form a continuous ribbon for people to pass through. The installation is made of local, abundant materials: sand and furan resin, consisting of cellulose of pine-trees and corn-kernels.

The printer added layers of fine sand, while a layer of resin was deposited with a roller. Once finished, the print had to be removed from the soft sand. Through the chemical reaction between the sand and the resin, it turned black. To get the original colour back, the elements had to be sandblasted with the same sand.

The lattice-thickness is based on structural forces. Because sand is not a strong material, the elements are very thick, each piece weighing about 160 kg (352 lbs).

Chris Precht of Studio Precht states, “Building in an ecological way, also means to build with local materials. In Bali that’s bamboo, in Austria that’s wood and in the Middle East that’s sand. The first buildings ever constructed were done in sand. We all know what’s needed to build sand-castles. So building with sand is deeply rooted in traditions and childhood memories. But with new technology it’s possible to use the material in an innovative and interesting way.”

Photos: Mamou-Mani & Studio Precht