Biopolymer 3D printed Trabeculae Pavilion based on bone structure

Pretty much anything imaginable can be 3D printed, from shoe soles to nodes and even food. In architecture, additive manufacturing hasn’t gone unnoticed either, as whole houses are printed with concrete. Bioplastics are used as well, as this cabin printed in Amsterdam demonstrates. Researchers at Politecnico di Milano School of Architecture designed and built a fully 3D printed pavilion, inspired by the microstructure of bones. The Trabeculae Pavilion is a lightweight prototype that uses an innovative construction technique that minimises material use.

The prototype of the pavilion is made from a high-resistance biopolymer. An experimental extruder was used to create stiff components quickly.

The pavilion, made with WASP printers, combines research to 3D printing and biomimetics. The aim of the project is to see how lightweight and resistant structures work with a minimised material use, as well as to explore sustainable solutions to material sourcing. By studying the internal bone structure, the researchers created algorithms, which allowed them to generate 3D cellular structures in varying topology and size, with the precision of a tenth of a millimetre. The result is an informed, meticulously crafted cellular microstructure derived from trabecular bone structure, hence the name of the pavilion.

A full-scale prototype of the project was exhibited at the MADE Expo 2017 in Milan (8-11 March).

Photos: ACTLAB Politecnico di Milano (via Inhabitat)