Architects pay tribute to Calatrava by 3D printing the Turning Torso

By using BCN3D Sigma 3D printers, the team at Suntem 3D has been able to 3D print the emblematic building Turning Torso by architect Santiago Calatrava. The mock-up has been manufactured with a scale of 1/135 and measures 1 meter and 40 centimeters.

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Since they were students, the architects of Suntem 3D fell in love with the work of the architect Santiago Calatrava. They have always admired his ability to create strong and coherent concepts transposed into an elegant blending of architecture into structure.

That is why they decided to 3D print the Turning Torso building as a tribute to this great architect.

In 1999, architect Santiago Calatrava was invited to develop a mixed-use residential tower in the port area of Malmö, Sweden, as an important part of the Malmö Western port transformation program. The project was conceived as a vertical sculptural element that symbolizes the human body in motion. The shape of the building is composed of nine units (each containing five floors), rotated to each other, and located around the central core, generating a spiral motion.

Turning Torso (190 meters) is the tallest residential building in Sweden and the second tallest residential building in Europe.

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In order to carry out their idea, the Suntem 3D team had to design the digital model. Once created, they started printing the pieces with their BCN3D Sigma printers. After 137 hours of 3D printing, they made their goal a reality: to have a physical model of the building.

The mock-up was printed in PLA, ideal for those models and prototypes that need a good surface quality and aesthetic detail. Also, is the perfect material for printing parts that contain overhangs, complex geometries and intricate curves. PLA is the best choice for building affordable models that need good surface quality for customer presentations, to help them better understand and visualize the product.

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It is easier for architects when they can visualize their designs physically and not on a screen. It is also very easy to just touch the model and figure out what it looks like from all angles.