To test the limits of their Fuse 1 3D printer and show off its capabilities, Formlabs recently 3D printed an enormous pavilion structure for the entrance of their 2017 FUSE conference. The FUSE Pavilion required more than a hundred unique construction modules and parts, over 24-hours of assembly time and covered an area of 150 square feet when fully assembled. In total, over 24-hours of print time was required to manufacture all the parts.
The FUSE Pavilion’s design was derived from the equation for a mobius strip, with three large, sweeping blades and an enclosed meeting space, all brought together by a space frame. At 15 ft across and 8.5 ft tall, the FUSE Pavilion is the largest structure ever made using Formlabs 3D printed parts.
Here’s the finished pavilion:
The pavilion’s curved surface is supported by a space frame:
To print all the pavilion’s parts during one cycle, a physics simulation in Blender was used to optimise packing the parts:
And here’s the printer that did all the work:
The Formlabs Fuse 1 is an industrial-grade SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) 3D printer that prints with nylon. It aims to do for SLS what Formlabs’ Form Series did for Stereolithography – make the technology more accessible.
SLS uses a laser to fuse powdered material into solid parts. With the Fuse 1, you can produce functional parts in 24-hours or less and the 165 x 165 x 320 mm build volume lets you print big parts with a high throughput.
“Depending on how big you want to build, structural considerations quickly become important for frame construction,” said Amos Dudley, Formlabs applications engineer, “Some shapes are self-supporting for a given size and material, others need extra support on the inside or outside to be freestanding and rigid. We chose materials that would help enable the design, which dramatically thrusts out and over the ground with no wire or columnar support. The connector nodes were printed on the Formlabs Fuse 1 in Nylon 12, a lightweight, rigid, and extremely strong engineering thermoplastic.”
Find out more about the FUSE Pavilion, including how it was fabricated and assembled, at the original Formlabs blog post.