By Sam Davies | TCT Magazine
ETH Zurich, a team of researchers operating in the largest Swiss city, have for the third year in a row won a Design Innovation award. This year, it was for their 3D printed concrete canoe.
The Concrete Canoe Regatta, a two-day long race, takes place in Cologne, Germany, every other year. Over 1,000 participants from universities all over Europe raced 90 boats made entirely from concrete on the Rhine river. Competing for the lightest, fastest, most beautiful boat, 89 of the boats were no match for ETH Zurich’s entry, which utilised the latest 3D printing technology and brought home the most coveted award of the lot: Design Innovation.
ETH has been participating in the Regatta since 2005, and finds itself now as the team to beat, having dominated the competition for a three-year spell. The Concrete Canoe Regatta has served ETH as a prototyping framework for emerging research projects. Previously technologies such as, Mesh Mold and Smart Dynamic Casting, have been tested at the Regatta, and since become successful mature researches. This year, DBT’sFree Formwork was the research which drove the development of the canoe, and it was highly praised by the jury for its unique design.