3D Printed Wall

How to 3D print recyclable building elements?


Students partnered with Local Motors to design and print a freestanding wall for their Fall 2016 studio. This project build on previous additive manufacturing research, including the exploration of structural patterns found in nature, and allowed students to grapple with the complexities and constraints of taking a project from vision to reality.


James Richard Rose

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Senior Lecturer, Director of Institute for Smart Structures, College of Architecture + Design
University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Andrew Obendorf, AIA

Associate Director, Studio Head
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Maged Guerguis

Senior Architect
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Nature as Precedent

This exercise explored the structural optimizations and geometric patterning found in nature. These observations became the basis for new formal proposals for a freestanding wall partition, which was then manufactured using building-scale additive manufacturing technology.

Vision to Reality

The students were able work with a Local Motors team, led by Gregory Haye and Whitney Manahan, to advance to design and print it at full scale. The students were also able to observe how the printing technology crossed over to the production of vehicles.

Related Projects and Research:


Exploring Additive Manufacturing

AMIE 2.0: Urban Living In a Future Knoxville

Algorithmic Design for 3D Printing at Building Scale

Students Contributors:

Jeremiah Corbett, Dillon Dunn, Meredith Graves, Cody Grooms, Emily Lange, Kendall Maples, Joshua Murray, Casey Myers, Tori Placher, Kyle Prichard, Charles Staal, Gray Taylor, Mustapha Williams