3D Printed Planter Bricks

April 6, 2013 by

PlanterBrick_w_Plants_LR_OW

Now you can print and plant a brick.

brick6withplants

Planter Bricks are 3D printed concrete masonry units that double as vessels for growing plants and vegetation.

PlanterBrick2_LR_OW

Created by Emerging Objects, a design and research subsidiary of Rael San Fratello Architects specializing in 3D printed objects for the built environment, the bricks are “printed” with a direct digital manufacturing and rapid 3D prototyping technology, a relatively new process that enables the production of pieces that would otherwise be impossible to create by hand or require expensive machinery to produce or reproduce.

brick_verticalgarden

The resulting 3D printed bricks vary in size and shape: some are angular, some curvaceous, many have different sized cavities. Assembled together they create a uniquely composed wall of plants.

BRICK2AGAIN

planter-bricks-diagram

During construction, the bricks can be assembled in a load bearing cavity wall, installed as a traditional masonry curtain wall on a steel or concrete frame, combined with traditional bricks in new walls, or retrofitted for existing walls.

brick6withdripandtube

Indentations in the bricks accept water much like weep holes, while a network of drip irrigation lines built into the cavity of the masonry wall irrigate the plants, the water pumped up from below or gravity fed from a cistern or water collection device on the roof.

bricks-birds

Edible plants and fragrant herbs with shallow root systems such as rosemary can be harvested through openings in the wall.

BRICKWALLBIGlongbig-614x197

As the manufacturing process requires no dies or molds, products can be mass-customized rather than mass-produced, taking advantage of the flexibility and speed computer-aided manufacturing affords and, since 3D printing minimizes waste, it is also an environmentally conscious manufacturing method.

originalbricklayout

PlanterBrick1_LR_2_OW

In addition to looking great, Planter Bricks provide a number of benefits. The plants buffer sound, help filter surrounding air, and through evapotranspiration and pollution conversion, they also aid in mediating the building’s microclimate temperature  which contributes a bit to countering the urban heat island effect.

 

The freshest innovative and eco-friendly designs, trends, and ideas for urban gardens and stylish small places.

Visit Robin Horton @UrbanGardens's profile on Pinterest.