Sombra Verde’s 3D Printed Bamboo Structure Combining Tradition and Technology

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The construction industry is a dynamic as new and innovative ideas are presented every so often. Some of these new ideas strive to bridge the gap between the old and the new. In construction, the Sombra Verde gazebo has managed to bridge the gap between tradition and technology.

Sombra Verde is a bamboo gazebo that was developed by AIRLAB and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).  It was presented during Singapore’s festival of Urban Design held in 2018.

Traditional building methods often run into issues such as unpredictability when a natural material contrasts sharply with the mechanical precision provided by contemporary construction. Picture traditional raw bamboo poles combined with 3D printed connectors, made with polymers which can be found at Poly Chemistry. If you visit Southeast Asia, you will witness the utilization of technology such as this one.

Bridging the Gap

3d printed bamboo structured bridges

Source : airlab.sutd.edu.sg

Traditional building methods often run into issues such as unpredictability when a natural material contrasts sharply with the mechanical precision provided by contemporary construction. Picture traditional raw bamboo poles combined with 3D printed connectors. If you visit Southeast Asia, you will witness the utilization of technology such as this one.

What you get when you combine 3D printed connectors and the traditional bamboo poles is a fantastic, lightweight structure. Duxton Plain Park in Singapore is the place to find these structures. They are used to shelter people from the elements. If you are planning a visit or move to Singapore to see these iconic structures firsthand, Visa Express will be of assistance.

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Digital Measurements

3d printed bamboo structured bridges

Source : cdn.shopify.com

Bamboo poles do not come in uniform sizes. There are these characteristics that must be put into consideration:

  •       Cross-section
  •       Thickness
  •       Bend

Consequently, digital measurements are necessary in order to achieve the desired structure. Each individual pole is cut to length and then digitized. They are marked with printed stickers on both ends for ease of identification later on as construction progresses.

Laser level is used to align the stickers to ensure the correct alignment to corresponding nodes which connect the right bars in 3D space. The information collected on measurements is used to calculate structural capacity which aids in providing the best position within the structure.

How the Data is used

3d printed bamboo structured bridges

Source : 3dwithus.com

The data is used in the following ways:

  •       Fabrication of the 36 bespoke pieces to be sued in connecting
  •       Designing the structure

The material PLA is used to print each element in 3D. PLA is a pocket-friendly and sustainable polymer which is plant-based. It is therefore eco-friendly. The properties of PLA provide a cost-effective printing process.

The plastic node which is seamless tightens when it connects with the bamboo and the rotation unites the entire structure.

Measurements and Properties

3d printed bamboo structured bridges

Source : images.adsttc.com

The pavilion is 8.50 by 6.50 meters. It is 3.00 meters high and less than 150 kg in weight. As mentioned earlier, it is an eco-friendly structure and transparent; hence it allows natural light in. the roof is made from cellular polycarbonate and is light upon the bamboo on which it rests.

The bamboo rests on three inverted tripod columns.

Conclusion

Sombra Verde’s 3D Printed Bamboo Structure has successfully bridged the gap between the traditional and the contemporary. It clearly demonstrates that it is possible to blend the past and the present by using technology to construct modern structures using traditional materials. In addition, the structures are a wonder to look at and fit in beautifully in the modern landscape.

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