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A filament pavilion made of glass and carbon fiber using a robot-controlled fabrication process

News International-French

5 Jul 2016

Called “Elytra Filament Pavilion”, the installation is based on a robotically fabricated fiber composite structure and is displayed at Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Elytra Filament Pavilion

As part of its first Engineering Season, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London has unveiled an architectural installation developed by a team from the University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Computational Design (ICD) and Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE).
With robot assistance, the Pavilion will “grow” during the course of the V&A Engineering Season, which runs until 6 November. SGL Group gave support to the fully automated fabrication approach by supplying its Sigrafil 50k carbon fibers for the installation and assisting the project team with material expertise and advice.

The Sigrafil 50k fibers used in the installation represent a new generation of industrial carbon fibers specially suitable for automated production processes. Among other applications, the fibers are used as standard in the BMW i3, i8, and new 7 series. They are produced in a large and modern carbon fiber plant at Moses Lake in the US state of Washington.

Elytra Filament Pavilion
Composites (especially material solutions based on carbon fibers) offer outstanding properties such as light weight, high durability, and corrosion resistance. These characteristics make them excellent materials for many new applications across a wide variety of industries from the automotive, aerospace, and wind energy sectors to other areas such as pressure vessel manufacture and construction.

“We would like to thank SGL Group very much for supporting the project and for their long-standing partnership. The project represents a further step in the development of robotically fabricated fiber composite structures for construction,” said Moritz Doerstelmann, project manager of the architectural installation.

The Elytra Filament Pavilion is the result of a number of years’ research into the integration of architecture, construction engineering, and bionic structures, which has been carried out at the Institute for Computational Design and the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design at Stuttgart University. The project shows how the principles of biological fiber structures can be applied to architecture through computational design and fabrication methods. Inspired by the forewing shells (Elytra) of flying beetles, the innovative structure of the Pavilion consists entirely of robotically fabricated glass and carbon fiber elements.

These create both an extremely lightweight, high-performance structure and fascinating architecture.

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