Arconic looks to the future with 3-mile-high, smog-eating, 3-D printed skyscraper concept
- New York City-based global materials technology and engineering firm Arconic has released conceptual designs for a 3-mile-high skyscraper that self-cleans and reduces localized air pollution, according to Business Insider.
- The supertall tower concept is part of the firm’s "Jetsons" campaign envisioning the possibilities of advanced materials science, technology and engineering in the year 2062.
- Additional technologies incorporated into the concept included Arconic’s BloomFrame motorized window system, which converts windows to glass balconies in under a minute.
Even as Dubai and Saudi Arabia race to build the world’s tallest building, conceptual designers are leaving their efforts far behind (and far below) with plans for multiple mile-high supertalls within the next 50 years. According to Arconic project futurist Kevin Kelley, there’s no limit to how tall showcase buildings can be built using 3-D printing for more organic structure in construction components.
That’s quite a leap for a technology that is just now producing the first 3-D-printed house in the U.S. Led by Branch Technology, that project also leverages organic (and even cellular) component structures to add strength and stability to 3-D-printed building components.
Although still in its early stages, 3-D printing technology has the potential to substantially disrupt conventional building practices by offering modular construction alternatives, onsite manufacturing of building materials, and the ability to create machine parts on-demand.
More likely to appear on a building within the next decade are Arconic’s window systems and coatings. The firm’s EcoClean surface treatments reportedly leverage sunlight and water vapor to produce free radicals at the atomic level, which remove pollutants from the air as well as cleaning dirt and grime from the building facade.