From April 04th 2017 until today, Milan is hosting the design fair, where 3D sculptural printing was on display. Architectural firms have exhibited their finest creations realized via the 3D printing techniques. Among all these exhibitors, two names should be remembered today:

Zaha-hadid Architects (ZHA), a London-based architectural firm “works at all scales and in all sectors to create transformative, cultural, corporate and residential spaces.

The firm exhibited “Shadows”, created by Thallus, an experimental structure. It is a computer simulated organic design. The structure is printed in 3D in a continuous plastic PLA (Polyatic Acid) of 7km in length. In order to produce this sculpture in form of a plant, the research group of ZHA uses an extruder attached to a robotic arm.

Thallus proves here the exploration of the research group (ZHA code) in the generation of geometries by calculation. All fluid details reveal the possibilities of “what can now be achieved in terms of mechanization and customisation in the architecture, construction and engineering industries.

The second name is the one of Neri Oxman of MIT. Professor, architect and designer, eri Oxman is a woman who founded the research group Mediated Matter. The latter discovers and exploits design concepts through various disciplines.


At the Milan show, their creation is the 3D printed glass sculptures in collaboration with Lexus, the luxury car brand. The “YET” philosophy is at the heart of Lexus design vehicles. Yet brings out synergies between seemingly contradictory goals like, for instance, a spacious and yet (literally meaning) aerodynamic design.

Let’s go back to Neriman! Lexus asked her and her team help to make 3D glass columns “using old material and modern technology”. The technique is delicate because it must perfectly balance the conditions of the construction chamber to ensure adequate support of the successive glass layers.


Finally, if these columns are successful, Lexus presence is also due to Lexus Design Award 2017, whose works of finalists were presented during the Milan show.