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Students 3D-Print a Better Brick that Snaps Together Like LEGOs
We’ve seen 3D printed building materials before, but a team at Cornell has developed a unique ceramic brick that snaps together like legos! The bricks can be used to create incredibly complex structures using a single material, and the system completely eliminates construction waste.
The lightweight interlocking PolyBricks were developed by the Sabin Design Lab in collaboration with Cornell and Jenny Sabin Studio. It is the first mortarless 3D-printed wall assembly that maximizes structural strength and allows for the production of complex curved structures. PolyBricks feature tapered dovetail joints that have unique positions within a whole. The algorithms that interconnect the components allow aggregative systems to use the force of gravity to lock the bricks in place and strengthen the structures. The team claims that this technique can ensure the construction of entire buildings without generating waste.
Research on the PolyBricks project is based on experimenting with the production of non-standard components and curvilinear forms found in nature. Cost-effective and lightweight, PolyBricks seem to be superior to conventional solid bricks. The project pioneers the development of ceramic as a viable building material, which went from manual and mechanical to fully digital production.
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