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Published on March 11th, 2017 | by Geetika Bhasin

3D printed Trabeculae Pavilion by Politecnico di Milano, to be showcased at the Made Expo 2017

The students of Politecnico di Milano, Italy’s largest technical school have designed the spectacular new 3D printed Trabeculae Pavilion. They have planned a special preview of the structure at the upcoming Made Expo 2017. This amazing piece of architecture is particularly extremely light and is a result of biomimetic research and 3D printing.

The Architecture, Computation and Technology unit (ACTLAB) of Politecnico di Milano’s architecture school was faced with the challenge of designing a lightweight yet efficient and resilient structure. They decided to take inspiration from the composition and structure of the bone. The trabecular bone which follows a process of material reorganization was used as an example by the ACTLAB team.

The ACTLAB representatives said in an exclusive press release that after studying the internal bone microstructure, they created algorithms for generating three-dimensional cellular structures of varied textures and sizes, with the precision of a tenth of a millimetre.

ACTLAB has named this structure the “Functionally Graded Trabecular Structure” which is an intricately devised cellular microstructure which comprises of Trabeculae Pavilion’s load-responsive system of interconnected solid components with spatially varying characteristics.

This design also incorporates an anticlastic shell which is inspired by the architecture of Felix Candela. The structure has elegant, free-edged shapes, combined with a load-driven structural skin to form a functional design.

ACTLAB used Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) to carry out the advanced construction. The DeltaWASP 4070 and DeltaWASP 60100 were used to 3D print 275 separate components which were later assembled with an integrated joinery system. Whereas the entire pavilion can be constructed in a month, each component is printed in 10 hours using the WASP 3D printing farm and an experimental extruder. ACTLAB used a new biopolymer from FILOALFA for its ideal resilient yet lightweight characteristics.

The full Trabeculae Pavilion will be fabricated and an exclusive glimpse will be offered at the Politecnico di Milano’s Piazza Leonardo Da Vinci, as part of Made Expo 2017.

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