Rael San Fratello 3D prints earth structures to demonstrate potential of mud architecture - architecture and design

Rael San Fratello 3D prints earth structures to demonstrate potential of mud architecture



To explore the possibilities of mud architecture, Rael San Fratello has created 3D-printed prototypes that take cues from historical earthen construction built along the Rio Grande river.
Led by architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello, Rael San Fratello created four mud structures as part of its Emerging Objects investigative series into 3D printing.
The project called Mud Frontiers resulted in 3D-printed designs ? Hearth, Beacon, Lookout and Kiln ? that the studio believes could help to provide solutions for more affordable construction.
The structures take cues from the origins of the Rio Grande watershed in Colorado's San Luis Valley, formerly the edge of the US-Mexico before 1848. Here, traditions from Ancestral Pueblo cultures date back to 700 CE and the Indo-Hispano cultures of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado date back to 1598. Rael San Fratello created four 3D-printed prototypes that explore different techniques for mud construction
The Emerging Objects team began by researching processes typical to the area, such as hand-modelled earthen structures, and mud and pottery that harvest clay from Sangre de Christo and San Juan mountains. They then worked with 3D ceramic print company 3D Potter to make a small portable robot called Potterbot XLS-1 to print designs on the sites they sourced soils.
"What we learned was really how accessible, robust, and powerful it was to print large scale structures so quickly using the soil just beneath our feet&qu...
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