Stone Spray Project: A Robot That Turns Sand Into 3D Printed Architecture

Maybe a decade ago, if you’d spoken about a magical machine that took a material and sprayed it out as architecture you’d probably be relaying the narrative of a sci-fi short story. Well, this is one advent of construction that has entered the realm of reality.

Take a look at the Stone Spray Project from students Anna Kulik, Inder Shergill, and Petr Novikov from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia. Similar in concept to Markus Kayser’s Solar Sinter, which used 3D printing to create a glass bowl in the middle of a desert, the Stone Spray Project explores environmentally-friendly 3D printed architecture. The result is a solar-powered robot that uses sand as a material for construction.

The robot collects dirt and sand from its surrounding area, combines it with a liquid binder, then sprays it using a jet spray system to create different structures. The spray system is multi-directional and controlled by a computer, and has been used to create a variety of structures from a sand wall to a sand stool.

The cellular structures produced so far may look rudimentary, and are only scaled models, but it’s a glimpse into what the future may hold. And even on a small scale, their sand wall experiment (below) is structurally strong and can even bear a load.

The wall measures 500 mm x 150 mm x 400 mm

[via Design Boom]