Eight cladding nodes, or shrouds, for the top of steel columns that support ETFE roof on the building’s roof terrace were made by a specialist injection molding company using a 3D printer. They were delivered to site this week, the Chartered Institute of Building reports today.
The CIOB magazine quotes Skanska project manager Jonathan Inman saying: “We’re very excited by it – it’s the first time the company has used the technique. But we’re currently talking to other clients about other opportunities for 3D printing.”
His colleague, innovation manager Sam Stacey, said: “It’s something we are very interested in, we will look for opportunities and respond vigorously as they emerge.”
Welded or spliced steel plates, the traditional approach, did not meet the architect’s aesthetic standards.
A slective laser sintering machine was used to fuse layers of powdered Nylon PA 12 to build up the complex shapes based on a CAD file form the architect, the CIOB reports.
Construction of the 16-storey commercial building is nearing completion. Handover is scheduled before the end of the year.
The project design consultants are Fletcher Priest Architects, Waterman Structures and Waterman Building Services.