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TrussFab: Large Structures on Small Printers

TrussFab is an integrated end-to-end system that allows users to fabricate large scale structures that are sturdy enough to carry human weight. TrussFab achieves the large scale by complementing 3D print with plastic bottles. It does not use these bottles as “bricks” though, but as beams that form structurally sound node-link structures, also known as trusses, allowing it to handle the forces resulting from scale and load. TrussFab embodies the required engineering knowledge, allowing non-engineers to design such structures and to validate their design using integrated structural analysis. We have used TrussFab to design and fabricate tables and chairs, a 2.5 m long bridge strong enough to carry a human, a functional boat that seats two, and a 5 m diameter dome.
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