A luminous tetrahedral mesh spanning 10 meters, (Ultra) Light Network is the latest 3D printed innovation achieved by Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) Professors Felix Raspall and Carlos Banon, who were also behind this mesh pavilion. Displayed at iLight 2017 Marina Bay in Singapore, the interactive light sculpture is an exploration of how full-scale 3D printed components can create a system to “address not only structural requirements but also power transmission, and information communication within a seamless and continuous aesthetic.”
Suspended over its visitors, the display engages the public through responses to their movements below, controlled by over 50,000 distinct LED pixels and their parent algorithm. This is made possible through five Teensy microcontrollers, working in conjunction with three ultrasonic sensors at the base of the structure, resulting in a lively and illuminating experience.
The entire mesh is composed of 715 polycarbonate squared tubes of standard dimensions, responsible for the balanced and even diffusion of the light sources. Additionally, 152 individual nodes were printed from ABS and Nylon to contain custom LED bulbs, an integral aspect of the 10m x 6m x 3m installation.
Custom parametric design was crucial in helping the polymer structure achieve its tetrahedral form, as well as its other various geometries and the coordination of the lighting system. As a result of its slender yet sturdy characteristics, the installation can withstand stresses of expansion and contraction, and even absorbs external forces such as wind loads and punctual forces. This is also due in part to the model’s hyper-redundancy, which unlike other current systems, converges ten members per node to allow for stability and resistance.
Design Concept: Felix Raspall and Carlos Banon
Project Lead: Felix Raspall, Carlos Banon, Manuel Garrido, Felix Amtsberg and Mohan Elara.
Research Team: Tay Jenn Chong, Pan Shiqian, Gowdam Sureshkumar, Thejus Pathmakumar, Joei Wee Shi Xuan, Liu Hong Zhe, Yiping Goh, Mohit Arora and Naik Hiong Chiang.
Location: Marina Bay
Sponsors: Stratasys, Center for Digital Design and Manufacturing at SUTD, and SUTD.
LED supplier: Bond Optoelectronics