Digital Grotesque: Gorgeous, Algorithmic, 3D-Printed Grotto

September 20, 2013 | Marina Galperina

Every part of Digital Grotesque — the first human-scale immersive space entirely constructed out of 3D printed sandstone” — was designed with customized algorithms. Michael Hansmeyer and Benjamin Dillenburger sculptural installation is a flat cube on the outside and an intricate subversion of classical sculpture on the inside, twisting and melting, sprouting and mirroring with “a complex geometry” of “260 million specified micro-details.”

There are some fascinating notes on the artists’ website about the construction process…

 The weight of elements was minimized by making them hollow and by using structural analysis tools to reduce their wall thickness to a single centimeter in non-critical areas. An internal structural grid is introduced to increase stability.

..and data-flow.

The geometry of the grotto consists of 260 million individual faces forming a highly articulated surface. This large amount of data cannot be adequately processed by existing CAD Software. Customized algorithms were therefore developed to calculate the construction details and to convert the form into printable data.

Read more about the origins of the piece on Design Boom and watch the video above to see it in full glory, fully realized.