Year | 2017
Int/ext | int
Url | link
Bottles |
Type | Exhibition
Construction | assembly
Materials | 3D print | PET bottles | steel
Function | Awareness | Education | Exhibition
Authors | Alexander Popiak | Anna Seufert | Florian Meinel | Hsiang-Ting Chen | Jonathan Striebel | Ludwig Wall | Maximilian Brehm | Patrick Baudisch | Robert Kovacs | Si-jing You | Thomas Bläsius | Willi Müller | Yannis Kommana
Team
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Location | Germany | Potsdam

TrussFab is an integrated end-to-end system that allows users to fabricate large scale structures that are sturdy enough to carry human weight. TrussFab achieves the large scale by complementing 3D print with plastic bottles.

Unlike previous systems that stacked bottles as if they were “bricks”, TrussFab considers them as beams and uses them to form structurally sound node link structures based on closed triangles, also known as trusses. TrussFab embodies the required engineering knowledge, allowing non-engineers to design such structures.

While freestanding bottles tend to break easily, truss structures essentially consist of triangles. In such an arrangement, it is the structure that prevents de-formation, not the individual bottle. The main strength of trusses is that they turn lateral forces (aka bending moments) into tension and compression forces along the length of the edges (aka members). Bottles make great members: while they buckle easily when pushed from the side, they are very strong when pushed or pulled along their main axis. TrussFab affords building trusses by combining tetrahedra and octahedra into so-called tetrahedral honeycomb structures.

Conclusion:

 TrussFab is an integrated end-to-end system that allows users to fabricate large structures that are sturdy enough to carry human weight on desktop 3D printers. Unlike previous systems that built on up-cycled plastic bottles combined with 3D print, TrussFab considers bottles not as “bricks”, but as beams that form structurally sound node link structures also known as trusses, allowing users to handle the forces resulting from scale and load. TrussFab embodies the required engineering knowledge, allowing non-engineers to design such structures and allows users to validate their designs using integrated structural analysis.