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Light trapping – Inlucent Cellulose Manifolds

Category: Biomaterial composite Prototype
By: Noor El-Gewely
Advisor: Marcos Cruz
Assistant: Nina Jotanovic
Biology Support:  Núria Conde Pueyo
Computational Support:  Rodrigo Aguirre & Jayant Khanuja
Fabrication Support: Kunaljit Singh Chadha

Nature offers many examples of principles of structural and form optimization, where the material properties are tuned according to their function. Although currently the conventional building industry specifies materials which are “fit-for-purpose” for their intended application, these are usually assembled as a series of discrete parts. Through the development of functionally graded materials (FGM), the building industry can make a significant contribution to reducing resource consumption, energy use, emissions, and waste towards the realization of resource efficient architecture. But it also gives rise to new aesthetic possibilities, and in fact redefines the traditional relationship between form and function: It allows the material properties of a building component to be designed irrespective of its outer shape - whether through changes in porosity, stiffness, or transitions between materials. While in the past the predominant optimization technique was to design form as a function of material, functionally graded building components offer an entirely new approach: the design of material as a function of form. This research aims to investigate the design and fabrication possibilities using natural resin as affordable and translucent binding material, with a potentially long life span. By using material it its liquid state it can be malleable and can be adapted for various digital fabrication methods such as casting in CNC milled molds or robotica additive manufacturing.

The material can be influenced by the application of temperature, material deposition and additive materials such as beeswax and cellulosic particles to enhance the mechanical properties. This research aims to highlight the relationship between material properties and structural optimization, in order to achieve multi material biocomposites in monolithic structures.

Light  Trapping is a project developed at IAAC Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.

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