Completed last weekend, the world’s first architectural structure made entirely by 3D printers is a hollow, coral reef-like pavilion known as Echoviren.
According to Dezeen, artist Stephanie Smith and architect Bryan Allen of Smith|Allen built the 10-foot by 10-foot by 8-foot structure in a redwood forest north of San Francisco for the arts residency program Project 387.
Why plop it down in the middle of the forest? Because it’s made of a plant-based bio-plastic, meaning it will decompose sometime in the next 30 to 50 years.
“As it weathers it will become a micro-habitat for insects, moss, and birds,” the designers explain on their website.
It took the 3D printers two months and 10,800 hours to print all 585 pieces, and four days to assemble the structure on site — not bad when you consider that prior to Echoviren, 3D printing technology was perhaps most noted for its ability to make inexpensive iPhone cases and plastic handguns.
Today strange forest homes for insects, tomorrow 3D-printed moon bases for humans…