A strange building rises up in Mexico City - it looks a bit like a squatting frog or a bizarre flower.It was built using a special 3D knitting technology developed at the federal institute of technology in Zurich. The structure, called KnitCandela, is partially made from concrete, but its formwork is a knitted textile supported by a steel cable-net. The project is a tribute to spanish-mexican architect Felix Candela, a collaboration between Zaha Hadid's architecture calculation design team and building extrapolation.
3D weaving has previously been used to make items such as clothing and furniture, but is not common on such a large scale.It took 36 hours for an industrial knitting machine to produce the shuttering of the formwork for the shell structure, following a digital pattern. Fully formed double layers of fabric are woven into four long strips, with the lower layers forming visible ceilings.The upper layer includes the sleeve of the formwork system cable and the pocket of the balloon.After the structure is covered with concrete, the balloons burst, leaving empty space, which helps save material and weight.
3D printing is a hot topic in the construction industry at present, while 3D knitting is a new idea, but also a promising idea.3D braided structures like KnitCandela also don't require giant robot 3D printers, just a traditional knitting machine.