Structure & Optimisation

Our Additive Manufacturing / 3D printing research and experimentation started in the late 90’s. We have many years of experience working with a wide range of SLS, DMLS, SLA and FDM technologies. Having tested most of the materials and manufacturing technologies in the market, we are fully aware of their durability and characteristics. We can improve performance and repetitive success rates through our digital design strategy and industrial approach.

Additive manufacturing lends itself to the development of fully optimised structures, allowing for significantly reduced waste and costs, together with the creation new object aesthetics. We have been researching 3D printed structure optimisation for close to twenty years.

The Osteon Chair, produced in 2004, is an object with an ‘intelligent’ bone-like internal support structure and was the first object produced with an optimised internal structure. At that time, we used a 3D AI algorithm that generated an optimised structural unit and we placed it within the object 3D voxel grid skeleton. Today we all know a similar technology called ‘Infill’ that is widely available within any FDM slicing application. The ‘Infill’ is a primitive repetition of the same unit within the object interior boundaries, and although very accessible and fast to compute, it is still very wasteful and is not considering the object loads conditions and 3D organic boundaries.

In a new recent research, we have been looking into the internal 3D geometrical growth of bamboo. Our focus is on a very fast growing breed called ‘phyllostachys’ that, depending on a variety of parameters, can grow extremely fast and senses its environment to correct and reinforce itself while growing. In collaboration with macromolecular and bio material scientists at KIT- Kyoto institute of technology D-Lab in Japan, we have translated the microscopic bamboo’s internal structure into producible 3D structures. Scaled-up by 3000% we can now study the natural geometric growth patterns of the bamboo, both in terms of its natural structural porosity and its geometrical growth intelligence. This new structure can be used for the creation of a wide range of objects, including automotive and aerospace industry as well as architecture and furniture.

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STEM 45° – Bio inspired autonomous design methodology 

The STEM 45° generative technology was designed based upon the development of an algorithm that digitally mimics the growing bio logic of the Phyllostachys breed of bamboo.

The 3D generative growth is branching upwards or downwards in a 45 degree orientation, producing a ‘self sported’ structure that demonstrate radical manufacturing efficiencies in energy reduction, material usage and production speed.

It is opening the discussion around future industrial design and architecture processes at both large and small scales, where automated processes will be fed by a combination of human and biological intelligence, designing a new type of tool-path for the robots to follow.

Microscopic bamboo internal structure, scaled-up by 3000%

In collaboration with macromolecular and bio-material scientists at KIT- Kyoto institute of technology D-Lab in Japan, we have translated the microscopic bamboo’s internal structure into producible 3D structures. Scaled-up by 3000% we can now study the natural geometrical growth patterns of the bamboo, both in terms of its natural structural porosity and its geometrical growth intelligence.

Translate the bamboo original microscopic 3d data into our studio 3D technology workflows, we can now manipulate the original data and study its natural growth patterns, adding continuity and controlled porosity. We can turn this virtual material into an industrial clever line of processes that can be repeated and re-used within industrial design and architecture.

‘Learning as it is growing’

The bamboo is ‘learning as it is growing’. This means that its structural internal 3D morphology is constantly changing and adapting to new environmental conditions, growing differently from section to section based upon a kind of inherited intelligence and sensory systems.

The ‘STEM 45°’ objects collection

The new ‘STEM 45°’ objects collection were designed using the actual bamboo 3D micro-structure geometry together with Assa Ashuach’s personal aesthetics impressions and a line of 3D automated scripts.

The STEM 45° Chair was produced thanks to the development of an algorithm that digitally mimics the growing pattern of the Phyllostachys breed of bamboo.

Projects examples