Why 3D Printing May Be the Best Method for Rebuilding Notre-Dame

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One company wants to use the ashes for the fire to give new life to the iconic landmark.

In light of the fire that ravaged Notre-Dame on April 15, designers and companies around the world have been coming up with creative ways to rebuild the iconic landmark. One of those ideas is to rebuild parts of the cathedral using 3D printing technology.

Concr3de, a Dutch company focused on construction projects utilizing 3D printing, has proposed using the ashes from the building to create new structures for the renovation. To prove that the idea has legs, the company rebuilt a demon statue, named Le Stryge, that used to sit on the rooftop of the cathedral before last week’s fire. While the statue wasn’t made using exactly the same ash that came from the fire as the original plan outlines, it was built out of limestone and ash, according to Dezeen.

Courtesy Concr3de

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe put out an international call for spire designs, specifically “a new spire that is adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era,” according to a public note we cited in our earlier coverage of the news. But architect and Concr3de cofounder Eric Geboers wants to create something new with an eye toward the past. “We saw the spire collapse and thought we could propose a way to combine the old materials with new technology to help speed up the reconstruction and make a cathedral that is not simply a copy of the original but rather a cathedral that would show its layered history proudly," Geboers shared in an interview with Dezeen. He also noted in the same interview that it would likely be cheaper to print the cathedrals missing pieces than cut them from stone.


Related: What Notre-Dame Means to the City of Paris

There’s no word from officials on whether or not this is a contender for how the cathedral will be rebuilt, but we can expect to see more creative solutions coming out of the woodwork as the call for spire entries speeds up.