Rise of the Machines

Artificially Intelligent 3D Printer Creates “Daedalus Pavilion”

Daedalus Pavilion

Ai Build showcases Daedalus Pavilion at the GPU Technology Conference in Amsterdam, a 3D printed structure built by intelligent robots.

A 3D printed pavilion is a great way to demonstrate how additive manufacturing could change the future of construction.

But the London-based startup Ai Build has gone a step further. In collaboration with Arup Engineers, they fabricated a 350-pound pavilion using 3D printing AND artificial intelligence. The result was presented at the GPU Technology Conference in Amsterdam last month.

Daedalus Pavilion, named after the creator of the labyrinth from Greek mythology, was printed using a KUKA industrial robot. The robot was programmed with A.I. algorithms to teach itself how to create a 3D printed structure.

To optimize building, for example, the robot used cameras to monitor its progress and learn from mistakes.

Daghan Cam, CEO and founder of Ai Build, explained to Digital Trends: “We wanted to push the boundaries of how intricate we could design things through computation and how we could create them through 3D printing.”

Daedalus pavilion

What’s so Special about the Daedalus Pavilion?

The value of the Daedalus Pavilion is not just the “wow” factor of 3D printing in tandem with A.I., but the ways in which these technologies can lower the cost of construction.

Cam reckons that the use of A.I. can cut the printing time by half: “Our robots were blind. They take instructions from a computer and blindly execute them. If there’s any problem they don’t notice and can’t adapt.”

The solution to this problem was attaching cameras to the printers. Algorithms were used to analyze the structures in real-time. Cam explained: “The goal was to create a feedback loop between the physical environment and the digital environment.”

Also efficient was the use of fans during printing to harden the structure in real-time. Plus, the lattice design meant that there was zero-waste with material.

It only took 15 days to print — and half a day to assemble — the 48 pieces which make up the 4.5m high pavilion. It’s estimated that the total cost of the Daedalus Pavilion was $35,600.

After the conference ends the pavilion will be taken back to London, where Ai Build will continue to explore how 3D printing and A.I. can play a part in the evolution of buildings.