More Than Just A Façade: Dip-Tech Integrates Bold Design With Functional Architecture
In Moscow, a lush 3-D forest of dense green trees reaches the rooftop and encircles the AFIMall, a new retail and entertainment center. Folded faux marbleized pages jut out across the Paris Barclay Bank exterior like gigantic cutout origami fans. From airport and subway murals, hotel lobbies and restaurants, the sky is the limit when using Israeli company, Dip-Tech’s pioneering ceramic printing in glass technology. Their creation of ceramic inks in a rainbow of colours to apply imagery, patterns or text to the surface of flat glass, has revolutionized the industry. They sell their patented system of image processing software, ceramic inks and digital printers to glass fabricators working with architects around the world. Interior applications include kitchen backsplashes, shower doors, wall art and even flooring.
With headquarters outside of Tel Aviv, Dip-Tech’s CEO, Yariv Matzliach, saw a niche in 2005 when he noticed that traditional printing on glass (using screening plates that limited colours and was much slower,) exhibited poor durability over time. Initially, the technology only printed with black ceramic ink and was mainly used in the transportation industry. “We have patented our technology with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to develop ceramic inks that when tempered after printing, are fused into the glass, making it scratchproof, fade and weather resistant as well as environmentally friendly,” explains Matzliach. “It supports multiple sustainable functions like optimizing solar energy, screening out harmful UV rays, reducing glare and even decreasing amounts of air conditioning needed in a building internally. The glass is also recyclable like ordinary glass.”
Dip-Tech has the largest digital ceramic in-glass flatbed printer in the world – 18 meters long (59 feet) and was recognized in 2014 by the Guinness World Records! It can print a single pane of glass with a total area of up to 64m2 (688.89ft2). New applications made possible by the sizeable glass include rooftops, floors and external curtain walls that are not paneled and do not contain aluminum fixtures or details.
Although Israel is a small country compared to most others, they are in the forefront of many global digital technologies. “A major contributing factor is the Start-up Nation mindset and culture that exists in Israel,” explains Matzliach. ” This mindset is cultivated by the fact that Israel since its infancy, has been low on resources and has placed a lot of emphasis on its survival and the survival of its people. In order to thrive under these conditions, a ‘thinking outside the box’ approach is needed. Israelis are actually ‘box free,’ ” he says. No and it’s impossible, are not acceptable words. For us, no suggestion is too crazy, and anything is worth trying,” emphasizes Matzliach.
Global applications include:
The Cardboard Cathedral, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Christchurch’s original Cathedral was severely damaged in an earthquake in 2010, and again in 2011 destroying the original stained-glass rose window. The Transitional Cathedral, designed by Shigeru Ban, was built nearby in 2013. It is nicknamed the “Cardboard Cathedral” due to its extensive use of cardboard tubes in its construction. The original stained glass design called for colored triangles, until Metro Performance Glass showed they could do so much more on the 12-meter high, glass façade. Using photographs of the original rose window, the images were lifted and printed directly onto the glass, using Dip-Tech digital technology.
Bring the outside in and never have to leave your shower:
A couple from Finland wanted the photographs of their summer home reproduced on their shower door and kitchen backsplash. RAKLA, a local glass processing company, used their Dip-Tech Digital Ceramic In-Glass Printer to print the photorealistic images directly onto the glass.
Ryerson Student Learning Centre, Toronto, Canada
Like a flurry of geometric snowflakes or petals, the spectacular graphic design was created by Snøhetta NY, an international design firm, then printed on glass in high-definition by Prelco, Toronto, using Dip-Tech’s digital technology. “Opacity and translucence can be precisely manipulated when digitally printed on glass, so we could adjust what kinds of light students would need on different floors,” says Mike Smith, Associate, Zeidler Partnership Architects, Toronto who collaborated on the innovative project. The building was erected on the iconic ‘Sam the Record Man’ site transforming the intersections of Gould and Yonge Street.
For the birds…. An estimated 100-million birds die in North America every year when they fly into reflective glass. Dip-Tech’s printed technology adds decorative depth perception to designs in glass – admired by humans and reducing collisions by our fine-feathered friends.
A public washroom worth standing in line for:
The zebra graphic borders on optical illusion for glass doors in a public washroom in Sharonim Mall, Israel. Printed by Spiral using Dip-Tech digital technology.