BANYON ECO WALL by BigRep is the world’s first fully 3D printed, irrigated green wall with an embedded water supply and drainage system. The innovation is made possible thanks to the world’s largest, serial production 3D printers (FFF), also by BigRep. The concept to date has been developed by NOWLAB, a BigRep Innovation Consultancy.
A drainage system is essential for the functioning of any irrigated green wall. Until now, 3D printed green walls either relied on (metal ) drainage systems to be integrated later on or were based on complicated set-ups involving many parts. What differs here is that the drainage system is embedded and created during the printing process.
Measuring 2000 mm x 2000 mm x 600 mm, the BANYON ECO WALL functions as a support structure for plants and a supply system for water. The design is structurally optimized with the plant carriers simply snapping into place. Miniature internal channels are designed for optimal water flow and feature an integrated ‘micro-shower’ mechanism to irrigate plants precisely where needed.
‘Our BANYAN ECO WALL is adopting nature’s principle with a complex, smart, and elegant design only achievable with AM. Traditional technologies such as milling or injection molding cannot deliver this level of complexity and dual functionality, ‘ explains BigRep CEO Stephan Beyer, PhD. ‘For the first time, thanks to AM and advanced CAD software, it is now possible to create complex functional designs within a fully digitized process chain.’
Irrigation systems, implemented to provide a controlled supply of water at requisite intervals, ensure the unique needs of plants and crops are met without the need for human intervention. The innovators hope that systems such as this will inspire designers and architects to design a greener future – be it from home, workspace or in these days, a home office.
A similar technique was used to develop the prototype ECO SCREEN.