ORNL 3D Precast Mold Project Wins Digital Fabrication Award

Posted: December 14, 2018

A project started as a collaboration between ORNL and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) was awarded the 2018 Digital Fabrication Award by Architects Newspaper. The Domino Park development project in Brooklyn, New York designed by COOKFOX Architects received the award for innovative design and durability. More than 800 submissions were received in 45 different categories across North America for the sixth annual design contest.

ORNL collaborated with Gate Precast (a PCI member) to demonstrate that Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) technology could rapidly manufacture precast concrete molds using carbon fiber reinforced with ABS plastic. Researchers from DOE’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL and ORNL’s Building Technologies Research and Integration Center worked together to prove that 3D printed molds are a promising alternative to traditional wood molds, which are typically used just a few times and then thrown away. In comparison, 3D printed molds allow for up to 200 castings and more complex shapes. The molds are durable and cost-effective. 

Slated to be the tallest tower in Williamsburg, Brooklyn the 42-story 260 Kent building was designed using an innovative precast exterior concept inspired by the molecular structure of sugar crystals, in tribute to the site’s former history as the Domino Sugar Factory. The tower is slated to be completed in fall 2019.