Dec 18, 2017 | By Benedict

Architecture students from Israel’s Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem have built a suspended bamboo pavilion using 3D printed joints. The structure can be reconfigured by rearranging the joints, ropes, and bamboo struts.

One of the most useful and versatile natural materials in the world, bamboo is something of a natural miracle. Because of a lack of secondary growth wood, bamboo stems to form perfect columns rather than tapered structures. This makes the large woody grass, which has a tensile strength comparable to steel, an ideal building material.

Bamboo can also be used to make textiles, weapons, musical instruments, and even edible dishes. In Nepal, for example, bamboo shoots are often cooked with turmeric, oil, and potatoes.

Construction, however, remains one of the most globally significant uses of bamboo, which has prompted students from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Israel to find new ways of getting the most out of the material.

Eventually, the students happened upon 3D printing as a way to create a huge suspended bamboo pavilion that can be reconfigured into different structures.

By using ropes and specially designed 3D printed joints, the architecture students have built their massive 40-square-meter structure at the entrance courtyard of the Architecture Department, welcoming students, staff, and visitors to the university with an impressive display of light and shadow.

Because the bamboo pavilion is enclosed yet fully porous, its designers say it challenges ideas about being “inside” or “outside”: being underneath the pavilion is to be both inside and outside, but also neither.

(Photos: Barak Pelman)

It all came about thanks to a Design-Build summer studio program at the university that encouraged material experimentation and hands-on engagement with full-scale prototypes, which can be used to test spatial ideas and work out ideal configurations.

Because of the temporary nature of the pavilion’s 3D printed joints, the students can actually continue to work out new configurations, swapping and changing the bamboo struts as they see fit.

To the untrained eye, the 3D printed joints look like large, four-tailed fidget spinners, and the students have dubbed the joint design “The Ninja.”

Unsurprisingly, the giant pavilion was a team effort, with 17 students helped along the way by tutors Barak Pelman, Lior Sakori, Shachar Abelson, and Michalis, and supported by outside participants like the Bamboo Center Israel, the Israeli Green Building Council, the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection, and the Architecture Department at the University of Nicosia.

The bamboo pavilion is not exactly a finished piece, but a proposal for a new method of construction using bamboo and 3D printing.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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