Why Siemens, GE and Rolls-Royce are turning to 3D printing

January 8, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Inside the pluses and minuses of additive manufacturing.

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Why Siemens, GE and Rolls-Royce are turning to 3D printing

Why Siemens, GE and Rolls-Royce are turning to 3D printing

January 8, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Inside the pluses and minuses of additive manufacturing.

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Why Siemens, GE and Rolls-Royce are turning to 3D printing

What an integrated Western grid means for California

January 8, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

The electricity grids of the Western U.S. are home to major electricity innovation — as well as major grid challenges.

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What an integrated Western grid means for California

What an integrated Western grid means for California

January 8, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

The electricity grids of the Western U.S. are home to major electricity innovation — as well as major grid challenges.

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What an integrated Western grid means for California

London store recycles 60,000 plastic bottles for 3D-printed interior

January 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

You can tell that Bottletop , a “sustainable luxury” brand that transforms castoff materials into chic carryalls, takes its zero-waste philosophy to heart. Case in point? Its new flagship store on London’s Regent Street, which boasts a 3D-printed interior derived almost entirely from recycled plastic bottles . Together with Krause Architects and Ai Build , Bottletop conscripted a troop of Kuka robots to print sections of the boutique using a filament made from plastic waste gathered from the streets Delhi in India. There’s a social component to the process, too. ReFlow , the Netherlands-based company that makes the filament, says it reinvests part of its profits into local manufacturing projects. “Our mission is to significantly improve the lives of the nearly 40 million waste collectors worldwide who earn less than $2 a day and to create a global, socially responsible 3D-printing community,” ReFlow says on its website. Related: 3D-printed pod homes for the homeless could hang from NYC buildings Inspired by the work of Paolo Zilli, a senior associate at Zaha Hadid Architects , the Bottletop store is a “world-first in retail” that “contributes to a broader positive ecosystem, in line with the values … of sustainable luxury, ethical design, technical innovation, and cross-cultural collaboration,” the company says in a statement. The recycled plastic isn’t the store’s only sustainable element, either. Look down and you’ll find that the flooring is composed of recycled rubber tires; glance up and you’ll discover a canopy made up of thousands of used metal cans suspended within a 3D-printed filigree. Related: World’s first 3D-printed bridge opens in the Netherlands The store is a work in progress—literally. The KUKA robots are still hard at work producing whole segments, meaning that the space will evolve over time. You can even take home a piece of the store, in a manner of speaking: For a limited time, customers will be able to employ an on-site robot to print personalized bag charms using the ReFlow filament. “For the first time, visitors to our store will be able to witness the sustainable use of this technology first hand while shopping the Bottletop collection and learning about the mission of the brand,” the company says. “This is so exciting for us as our customers can watch the transformation of the store.” + Bottletop

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London store recycles 60,000 plastic bottles for 3D-printed interior

Floating forest of bamboo pops up in Jerusalem

December 18, 2017 by  
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Jerusalem is famed for stone, but a recent appearance of bamboo in the city has been turning heads too. Students at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design built a Bamboo Pavilion that can be easily assembled, disassembled, and moved thanks to a simple construction system of ropes and 3D-printed joints. The experimental structure was designed with the help of computer modeling to simulate dozens of possible reconfigurations. Located at the entrance courtyard of the academy’s architecture department, the Bamboo Pavilion is the latest project realized in the school’s design/build summer studio. “The Bamboo Pavilion welcome visitors, students, and faculty with an inspiring play of shadows and lights, and invites them to engage with the hanging bamboos while challenges their perception of being ‘inside’ and ‘outside,’” wrote the designers. Related: Beautiful bamboo archways add dramatic flair to a Xiamen restaurant The Bamboo Pavilion appears to mimic a floating bamboo forest with individual bamboo stems seemingly suspended in mid-air at varying heights. Each piece of vertically oriented bamboo is tied, via rope, to a horizontal grid plane also built of bamboo. The structure is anchored by four concrete footers and columns held together by black 3D-printed joints. The 40-square-meter project was created in collaboration with The Bamboo Center Israel, The Israeli Green Building Council, Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection, and The Architecture Department at the University of Nicosia. + Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Via ArchDaily Images by Yifat Zailer and Barak Pelman

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Floating forest of bamboo pops up in Jerusalem

Pinecone-shaped apartment building unveiled for former military camp in Norway

December 18, 2017 by  
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Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter just unveiled a striking apartment complex for the town of Ski, Norway. The 4,000-square-meter residences will take on a sculptural, pinecone-like shape with high-end apartment units in the green new neighborhood in Ski Vest. Set on the site of a former military camp, the building derives design inspiration from the historic site context. Commissioned by Solon Eiendom , the Ski Vest tower will offer 50 apartments when complete. In addition to its former military camp settings, the new-build will be slotted into a historical landscape surrounded by with buildings dating back to the late 19th century. “Through the conscious use of qualitative and location-oriented architecture , the project will reinforce and develop the inherent identity of the site,” wrote the architects. Related: Norwegian Mountaineering Centre mimics a dramatic snow-covered mountain The residential building eschews a boxy form in favor of a pinecone -like shape that tapers towards the top. The 50 apartments will feature large openings, tall ceilings, and sheltered terraces that provide both privacy and sweeping views. Linear copper terraces with beautiful perforated walls will wrap around the building. + Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter

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Pinecone-shaped apartment building unveiled for former military camp in Norway

New 3D-printed algae could revolutionize the way we make things

December 12, 2017 by  
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Plastic waste is clogging landfills and strangling the earth’s waterways – but thankfully, green design is here to save the world. Dutch designers Eric Klarenbeek and Maartje Dros have created a bioplastic made from algae that can be 3D printed into virtually any shape – and could finally provide the world with a viable green alternative to plastic. Klarenbeek and Dros begin by cultivating algae, which is then dried and processed into a liquid bioplastic that can be used to 3D print objects. This algae polymer can be used to manufacture any number of products from shampoo bottles and tableware to trash cans. The innovative process could completely replace products made from fossil fuels. Related:3D-Printed Mycelium Chair Sprouts Living Mushrooms! The designers believe that products made from algae (which absorbs carbon dioxide during photosynthesis) could revolutionize the manufacturing world. “Algae is equally interesting for making biomass because it can quickly filter CO2 from the sea and the atmosphere,” said the duo. “Everything that surrounds us – our products, houses and cars – can be a form of CO2 binding. If we think in these terms, makers can bring about a revolution. It’s about thinking beyond the carbon footprint: instead of zero emissions we need ‘negative’ emissions.” Algae bioplastic isn’t the duo’s first foray into innovative materials. A few years ago Klarenbeek created the world’s first 3D-printed chair made from living fungus , and the team has worked with Ecovative to develop a line of DIY mycelium products . + Eric Klarenbeek + Maartje Dros Via Dezeen Photography by Antoine Raab and Florent Gardin, courtesy of atelier LUMA

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New 3D-printed algae could revolutionize the way we make things

Scientists find surprising methane-based ecosystem in underwater Yucatan caves

December 12, 2017 by  
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Underwater caves have been described as one of Earth’s final unexplored frontiers. An international team recently delved into the flooded caves of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico and found methane and dissolved organic carbon sustain the food web in these caves, with an ecosystem similar to that of deep ocean cold seeps. Mayan lore described the underwater caves in Mexico as a fantastical underworld. While the caves aren’t mythical, they did hold surprises for the 10 scientists who recently conducted what the United States Geological Survey (USGS) described as “the most detailed ecological study ever for a coastal cave ecosystem that is always underwater.” These researchers found methane and the bacteria that eat it serve as the linchpin for the ecosystem. Study lead author David Brankovits of Texas A&M University at Galveston said in a statement, “Finding that methane and other forms of mostly invisible dissolved organic matter are the foundation of the food web in these caves explains why cave-adapted animals are able to thrive in the water column in a habitat without visible evidence of food.” Related: Hundreds of massive seafloor craters are leaking methane They researched the Ox Bel Ha cave network, a subterranean estuary complex about the same size as Galveston Bay. Naturally-forming methane in these caves migrates downward, instead of upward as it normally would when formed in soils, so bacteria and microbes can feed on the methane. Prior studies posited that vegetation and detritus comprised the majority of organic material for microbe food in the caves, according to USGS, so the scientists were surprised to discover just how important methane is to the caves’ food web. There’s little surface debris to serve as food deep in the caves, so microbes depend on methane as well as other dissolved organics that filter down from the caves’ ceiling. One cave-adapted shrimp species receives around 21 percent of its nutrition via methane. The journal Nature Communications published the research online in late November. Scientists from institutions in the United States, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Mexico contributed to the work. Via the United States Geological Survey Images via © HP Hartmann and the United States Geological Survey

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Scientists find surprising methane-based ecosystem in underwater Yucatan caves

Light-filled extension camouflages itself into a hillside

December 12, 2017 by  
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Ellena Mehl Architects skillfully disguised a modern new extension inside the terraced gardens of a traditional Provencal farmhouse in southeast France. Located in an old hamlet dating back to before the 19th century, the new addition, named SPE House, is undeniably contemporary yet complements the historic landscape with its use of stone, a nod to the nearby retaining walls. Wild grass covers the terraced roof and minimizes the building’s visual impact on the landscape. The 120-square-meter SPE House comprises two levels: a ground floor for the living areas and a basement, connected to the kitchen of the main house, that contains two cellars, a boiler, and solar heating room. Built of concrete, the extension features an asymmetric roof that follows the site’s topography. “The extension is set within the existing terraced planes, between the main house and the stone walls, redefining new intersection lines in the landscape,” wrote the architects. “The main level is connected at half level to the house using reshaped existing stairs.” Related: Breezy addition keeps cool in Melbourne’s summers with smart passive design The main level consists of a bedroom, dressing room, and bathroom. The bedroom, extruded into the landscape, is faced with a double glazed wall with a 10-millimeter-thick pane of toughened glass as the external wall and an inner curtain glass wall . Both glazed walls are operable. The double-glazing, along with a roller blind, help mitigate unwanted solar gain. + Ellena Mehl Architects Photo credit: Hervé ELLENA

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Light-filled extension camouflages itself into a hillside

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