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A lightweight freeform timber gridshell

A team of researchers and students of Chalmers University and Augsburg University of Applied Sciences created a lightweight freeform gridshell made with only a saw blade.

The production process is completely carried out with only a saw blade, which allowed for fast and precise cuts. The gridshell consists of planar polygonal facets, where three edges are joined to create a constant thickness offset. Within these polygonal segments, reciprocal configuration of wooden beams creates cross bracing.

The cross-bracing elements in the center of the polygons are strengthened by a reciprocal node, but without the use of metal plates or brackets. In addition, the fabrication process creates only a minimal amount of offcuts. It allows for the use of short solid timber pieces, which is cost-efficient.

The gridshell was exhibited as part of the 300 year anniversary festival of the city of Gothenburg.

Photos: Chalmers University / Augsburg University of Applied Sciences