MX3D, the company that created the world’s first metal bridge using 3D printing, in the Netherlands, has once again used its Robotic Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) technology to create another sculptural work of art. The Oregon Dragon Bench, designed by Joris Laarman Lab, in collaboration with Nike’s Beaverton-based Advanced Innovation Centre, has been installed at the new LeBron James Building at the Nike World Headquarters in Oregon, USA.
The Oregon Dragon Bench pushes the boundaries in terms of sculptural presence and size, enabled by MX3D’s robotic 3D printing technological capabilities. The bench has included a “structural gradient” in the object that is both structurally functional and aesthetically beautiful. A “structural gradient” refers to a structure that densifies where structural stability is required and opens up where weight can be reduced. It is printed in Duplex 2209, a stainless steel used for metal 3D printing, and measures 10m x 3m x 2.5m / 33ft x 10ft x 8ft.
Joris Laarman started working with robots around 2010 and soon saw their potential. By combining robots with smart control software and advanced welding machines, Laarman is able to use them for large-scale 3D printing with metals such as steel, stainless steel, aluminum, bronze, and copper, without the need for supporting structures. Joris Laarman’s Dragon Bench series debuted at Friedman Benda’s exhibition “Joris Laarman Lab: Bits and Crafts” in 2014, and are the first sculptural pieces created with MX3D’s robotic WAAM technology and printer.
MX3D’s robotic printing technique allows higher form flexibility in shapes and textures and leads to material reduction. MX3D WAAM allows for the creation of geometries with higher complexity than conventional manufacturing processes (such as CNC-milling and casting) and a higher speed at lower costs compared to powder-based metal AM processes. By controlling the full WAAM workflow from CAD to print, MX3D’s technology has many benefits and allows you to go from idea to finished product in one go with its MetalXL software.