With all the amazing things that have been 3D printed, it kind of seems like magic. However, most of those things are simple, hand-held objects, small and manageable. Probably the most impressive thing 3D printed so far is a car. But with every new, innovative use of 3D printing, the boundaries keep getting pushed. It has even saved lives. The latest push comes from US design firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. You may not have heard of them, but you have heard of their work: the Burj Khalifa, One World Trade Center, and Willis Tower are all SOM works. With that kind of a resume, you know they’re not interested in doing anything boring or mundane; they want to do something cool.
Enter the AMIE, a 3D printed building, powered by a 3D printed car.
Developed in collaboration with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, SOM launched the AMIE at Oak Ridge’s Industry Day event, which was sponsored by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Renewable energy and energy efficiency are the name of the game with the AMIE.
The building is made up of C-shaped 3D printed forms, reinforced by steel rods. The shape of the panels and their rib-like arrangement provides a strong thermal barrier without taking up space.
What’s more, the building and the car were designed to fuel each other.
The car generates electricity while it’s being driven around and stores it in a battery. The building has roof-mounted solar panels. When they’re attached, they share a power grid and energy can be transferred from the building to the car to supplement its next trip, or from the car to the building to supplement the house’s power when the sun isn’t shining.
ust imagine, living off the grid in a building that powers your car, and that uses 3D printed components for its construction.
Insulation and moisture barriers are built right in. Construction, waste, and power costs are greatly reduced. Could it be that the future is here?
Main Image via Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP