College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley
Makers: Ronald Rael, Virginia San Fratello, Emily Licht, Nick Buccelli, Kent Wilson, Berkeley, CA
Ronald and team create organic forms using 3D printers. Many of their objects are made of natural materials like cement and wood. Ronald hopes to one day create an entire building using 3D printers.
How Does It Work
To create an object using a 3D printer, you first design a virtual computer model of the form you want to make. A 3D printer takes your computer model and prints thin layers of material that build up into a finished object.
Ronald and team developed a cement-based polymer to use in 3D printers. This cement material costs up to 90% less than comparable powder printing materials. Many 3D printers make objects out of plastic; Ronald and team are interested in using materials that are more eco-friendly.
About the Makers
Ronald is a professor of architecture at UC Berkeley. He and Virginia run a design and research company together in Oakland. Their company expands the role of 3D printers in the fields of architecture, interior design, furniture design, and product design.