3D-Printed Futuro House Reaches Stratosphere

Posted On June 29, 2018 By Protolabs
injection molding samples
The Futuro house outside the Modern Art Gallery in Munich, Germany. Photo courtesy: Hiveminer.com

Designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in the 1960’s, the Futuro house reflects the era’s aspirations for space travel and confidence in technological progress. The house is not only famous for its futuristic, flying-saucer-shaped design, but it was also the first mass-produced home. Suuronen’s design, which primarily consists of fiberglass and polyester plastic, was intended to be a transportable home that can be placed anywhere.

To celebrate 50 years since its creation, the Futuro house is featured at the Modern Art Gallery (Pinakothek der Moderne) installation titled, “Futuro: A Flying Saucer in Town.” As part of the exhibit, artist Konstantin Landuris worked with the museum and Protolabs to launch a 3D-printed Futuro replica 40km into the stratosphere.

"We are pleased to have Protolabs’ support in our attempt to record the Futuro's flight into the stratosphere. We attached two cameras to the balloon, which made it possible to record its path. A 4K camera filmed the replica's entire journey, and we can view the footage in 360 degrees," said Konstantin Landuris.

At its highest point, the 3D-printed Futuro replica reached 40km into the stratosphere.

On June 21, the 14cm scale Futuro replica was launched outside the Modern Art Gallery, just in front of Suuronen’s original design. The probe was brought into the stratosphere using a weather balloon equipped with two cameras, a GPS GSM tracker, a satellite tracker, and a data logger, so that the route could be tracked and accessed later. It initially flew southwest, turning south via the Grünwald hiking loop and then rose to about 10,000m above Pullach BND (the HQ of Germany’s intelligence agency). It was at this point that the small ground team lost contact, but overall the probe reached a height of 40km.

This isn’t the first time Protolabs and The Design Museum in Munich have teamed up. We previously worked with The Design Museum to develop a 3D printing exhibit by building custom models that demonstrated the design possibilities with several additive manufacturing technologies.