Jul 31, 2018 | By Thomas

Italian 3D printer company WASP announced today the completion of Trabeculae Pavilion, a stunning and highly experimental architecture that is particularly notable for its extreme lightness, and innovative combination of biomimetic research and 3D printing.

The Trabeculae Pavilion has been created by the university’s Architecture Computation Technology Lab (ACTLAB) of Politecnico di Milano’s architecture school. When faced with the challenge of designing an efficient and sustainable piece of lightweight architecture, ACTLAB turned to one of the most striking examples of a lightweight system found in nature: the bone.

The internal microstructure of organic bone, known as the trabecular bone, proved particularly inspirational to the ACTLAB team, as it follows a continuous load-responsive process of material reorganization.

The result is an informed, meticulously crafted cellular microstructure derived from trabecular bone structure. ACTLAB aptly calls this novel arrangement a “Functionally Graded Trabecular Structure,” referring to the Trabeculae Pavilion’s load-responsive system of interconnected solid struts with spatially varying characteristics.

The biomimetic-inspired design also incorporates a striking anticlastic shell in homage to the famously lightweight architecture of Felix Candela. Slender, free-edged shapes, combined with a load-driven structural skin come together to form a unique lattice patterning that is elegant yet functional.

ACTLAB’s use of Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) was critical to carrying out such an advanced construction. 352 separate components were 3D printed on four DeltaWASP 4070 and a DeltaWASP 60100 and later assembled with an integrated joinery system. Using the WASP 3D printing farm and an experimental WASP Spitfire extruder, representatives said five WASP 3D printers run 24 hours a day, and the full pavilion was constructed in 4352 hours (181 days).

"The last decades have witnessed an exponential growth in the demand of raw materials due to the rapid urbanization and industrialization of emerging economies," said Roberto Naboni, Architect and Assistant Professor at University of Southern Denmark (SDU). "This research looks at biological models and at the opportunities offered by the new additive production technologies in order to find sustainable solutions to the exploitation of materials. Our objective is to explore a new model of construction: advanced, efficient and sustainable.”

Measuring 7.5m x 6.0m x 3.6m, the built pavilion covers an area of 36 square meters and weighs 335 kg. After investigating various thermoplastic composites, ACTLAB turned to a new biopolymer from FILOALFA for its ideal weight-to-strength ratio and other mechanical characteristics.

All images credit: Gabriele Seghizzi

Beyond its technical features, the 3D printed Trabeculae Pavilion is an outstanding expression of a tectonic system conceived with and for 3D Printing, which enables multiple high-res optimization logics with the precision of a tenth of a millimeter.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



Maybe you also like:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive