back to article BT Tower to be replaced by 3D printed BT Tower

Prime Minister David Cameron will announce a futuristic addition to London’s skyline today. The familiar shape of BT Tower, opened in 1965 by Harold Wilson, will give way to a 3D printed tower – believed to be the largest additive polymer construction in the world. The 21st century version is designed to be a replica of the …


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  1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    And a very happy April 1st to all at El Reg

    1. Jim 59

      LOL. The photo background shows how the London skyline would look if a small number of architecture consultancies were just allowed throw up a collection of cheap, brutalist, mindless buildings in a random variety of styles and positions, with zero sympathy for the surroundings, historical setting or the human inhabitants. Imagine if that really happened.

      1. Tiny Iota

        Great reply, you really addressed all the points of the OP

  2. Khaptain Silver badge

    10 Downing Street

    10 Downing Street would have been a far better choice, it's already filled with Playmobil characters .

    ( This one seems a little too obvious for 1st April, mmmmmmm, pauses and wonders if it's a red herring kind of thing)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 10 Downing Street

      The mention of Shoreditch made it all too probable - Cabinet with not a science degree between them + overhyped social media centre = what could possibly happen?

      1. Steve Evans

        Re: 10 Downing Street


        Somewhere in Shoreditch there is a "trendy" running about screaming "Who leaked it!?!?!".

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: 10 Downing Street

      I know, this is one is so outrageous that it's obvious... it's when there is a degree of plausability to it that it becomes more difficult.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 10 Downing Street

        in other April 1st news, MPs are taking seriously the music industry's desire that all Internet sites are to be blocked unless they can be proven to have no connection whatsoever with anything it doesn't like - such as the use of torrents, even if for the free and fair distribution of CC or GPL content/files, the use of torrents will be taken as proof of illegality, and sites can be banned without proof of them breaking the law being tested in court ....

        Oh, wait .... oh sh*t ... that's real ... well, at least there aren't any self-serving, publicity-seeking politicians trying to use the untimely death of a teenager for political point scoring ... oh, i've done it again ...

        1. Ted Treen
          Big Brother

          @AC:- Re: 10 Downing Street

          "...self-serving, publicity-seeking politicians..."

          Is there any other kind?

    3. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Re too obvious

      Not quite sure what to think of it... Then again, the Grauniad isn't better either: independent Scots will drive on the right.

      Today my employer, however, is informing about the annual result. That's what I call a decent hoax!

      1. Unep Eurobats

        Re: Re too obvious

        Scottish independence spoofs are common this year: UN peacekeepers to be deployed on the border (Indy); Alex Salmond to feature on Scottish pound coins (Telegraph).

        1. QuietLeni

          Re: Re too obvious

          Er, *WHAT* Scottish pound coins???

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Re too obvious

            As a compromise the Scots will be allowed to keep the pound - so long as they never spend any.

            Traditional Scots are said to be delighted with the idea

      2. BongoJoe

        Re: Re too obvious

        Well they have to go a long way to beat their own San Serif supplement.

  3. Thorne

    As much as this is a joke, the future will be 3d printed buildings.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I've seen it done on buildings already, has been for quite a few years.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Future?

        Yep, there's that old technique of building silos by pouring concrete into two short concentric steels sleeves. As the concrete cures, the sleeves jack themselves up on the now solid concrete, more fresh concrete is added and the process continues until the desired height is achieved.

    2. This Side Up

      We've had a 3d building in Croydon for decades (not printed though).

      1. dave77

        Now if you told me you had a 2D building, I'd be impressed.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Given how slow 3D printers are this will be ready in 100 years time :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The home of the future will be printed with bricks! One layer at the time...

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Haha! Lego bricks could be used to build a very tall tower. Dr Ian Johnston, an applied mathematician and lecturer in engineering, explains his tests and reasoning here:

  5. drand


    This definitely has a whiff of The Bongster about it.

    1. Oninoshiko

      Re: BONG!

      not really, it was amusing and coherent.

  6. Rathernicelydone

    I loved the fact they used designers from Shoreditch - it wouldn't surprise me someone from that area thought of something like this (and I work here). Time to break out the Nathan Barley DVD.

    Not bad for an April fool's joke.

  7. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Nevertheless, Prime Minister Cameron hailed the 3D printed BT Tower as a symbol of "the second industrial revolution, in which the UK is proudly leading the way".

    That probably isn't even made up! Except it's missing the bit about the printers being used weren't developed in Britain!

  8. KirstarK

    yep. spot the date

  9. knarf

    But.... Is it Giant Kitten Proof ?

    You never know when a giant kitten is going to climb your post office tower.

    1. Warm Braw

      Re: But.... Is it Giant Kitten Proof ?

      If this synthetic erection were to survive such an attack it would deserve a medal. And possibly the headline:

      Steve Bong's Plastic Dong Bests Kitten Kong, Wins Gong.

  10. Shoot Them Later

    Crowd source it

    What they need to do is distribute the 3D printer files for a 30cm replica of the tower to the millions(?) of 3D printer-equipped people out there. They can then hold up their mini versions at just the right distance from their eyes that they appear the same size as the original in the distance. We can then demolish the original and replace it with something truly emblematic of modern Britain, such as a pound shop. True, only people with a mini tower to hand will be able to see it, but we could create some kind of app to allow sharing with people in your area (thus, Silicon Roundabout would get to make a truly useful contribution).

    Comment inspired by the picture accompanying the article, which clearly shows how it would look in practice.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Crowd source it

      You haven't been thinking about the commercial aspect of it fully: this pound shop could sell these mini-towers. A complete win all round for capitalism.

  11. DropBear


    I finally realized - this is exactly what must have happened at the tower of Pisa! Without a thermally stabilised enclosure of course a 3D printed tower would sag and lean! Amateurs...

  12. John Miles 1

    Going south ?

    Rather looks like its moved south of the river as well ? Didn't know Shoreditch types ventured down there.

  13. TRT Silver badge

    Of course...

    the 3D printed version of Euston will be terminus to a 3D printed HS2...

  14. BarryUK

    No, it's the one about someone trying to patent running WINE on ARM that's the April Fool's - it's clearly far more ridiculous.

  15. Sleepy Bob

    Where is the pussy?

    All plastic BT towers should have a pussy walking up the side.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: I'm a Barbie Girl

      Hehe, 'Panorama' aside, the bottoms of some 3D prints do resemble spaghetti - is the extruded filament isn't properly supported.

  17. Big_Boomer Silver badge


    What, you didn't fit rockets to it so it could become the first UK space-station?

  18. Elmer Phud


    It may be a hoax but Boris has been approached by men coming from the East and thinks that another expensive, useless penis replica would be fine as long as he can find a park to build over.

    Biggest laugh was that Boris is putting more money in to publicising Boris-Island while suggesting Heathrow should be built over.

    (Shakespeare's fools were usually wise men)

  19. Anonymous Coward

    And in further news

    BT are planning, for one day only, to release a broadband advert that:

    - doesn't have that floppy haired prick in it. At all.

    - is wholly truthful about the capabilities of their network.

    - gives an excerpt of the standard conversation you will have with their call centre.

    - is brutally honest about just how little 'our best ever wifi signal' actually means.

    - explains that when they write the phrase 'up to', they mean 'nowhere near'.

    - explains that any box with wires coming out of it, regardless of actual function, will perform better than the home hub.

    - will not mention BT sport at all. Or twist the English language with phrases like '18 top picks exclusively live matches only on BT sport free* with BT broadband today and last week only'

    (* line rental, broadband, fair usage, phone, hub delivery and BT sport charges may apply)

  20. MrXavia


    The scary thing is I can believe our government doing something so stupid....

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    See you later

    Is there anything other than foolish carp on thereg today?

    1. roytrubshaw

      Re: See you later

      "Is there anything other than foolish carp on thereg today?"

      Is that anything like Billy Bass the singing fish?

    2. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: See you later

      Poisson d'Avril

    3. McHack

      Re: See you later

      "Is there anything other than foolish carp on thereg today?"

      Well, Lando Calrissian just gave up on Dancing with the Stars, citing too much back pain from too much dallying with Orion slave girls in copper metal bikinis when last at Disneyworld. The Force was not with him. Neither was his eyesight, as it was hard to distinguish between skin and corrosion.

      Maybe that'll be worth a mention later.

      Say, if you want, maybe they could dig up some Hilarious Haddock instead. If you ask nice. Or point you to a different Ubuntu release, like Parsimonious Pike.

  22. Sandpit

    We're going to need a bigger printer

  23. Mage Silver badge

    BT Tower memories

    Always reminds me of a giant kitten.

    GG, BO and TBT

  24. Anonymous IV


    Surely there's no need for 3D printing - produce the whole thing from Lego™ bricks. Shouldn't take long.

  25. Iain


    "In the event of a terrorist bomb attack, the lightweight 3D printed BT Tower will fall harmlessly onto the 3D printed version of Euston Station below."

    It'll be rivalling teh Burj Kalifa, as it'll be at least 750m high then...

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