A public garden pavilion in Singapore has been constructed using a method that incorporates 3D-printed steel "nodes"
Spotted: 3D-printing has been used to create vitamins, chocolate and even houses. Now, the Architectural Intelligence Research Lab (AIRLAB) at the Singapore University of Technology and Design has built a temporary structure out of 3D-printed stainless steel. The structure comprises a pavilion at Singapore’s new tropical garden, Gardens by the Bay.
To build the structure, named AIRMESH, the AIRLAB project team printed 54 steel nodes, which were used to connect more than 200 steel rods. The printed nodes allowed the entire structure to be assembled in just two days, using no tools except for hex keys.
The AIRMESH pavilion is designed to be in place for three years and to frame views of nearby features. The structure weighs just 700kg and has a delicate, open appearance, but can withstand loads of more than 11,000kg. The printed nodes help the structure to achieve this strength by spreading the load onto the slender steel connecting bars.
The pavilion’s exterior is covered in two layers of plastic mesh, which shade a metal walkway. At night, purple LED lights on either side of the walkway illuminate the structure like a lantern.
Design and construction techniques informed by technological advances are emerging constantly. At Springwise, we have covered such innovations in building as pre-fab homes on stilts and buildings with living walls for carbon absorption.