spaceframe tower – 3D printing of freeform space structures nodes

initial design of the tower and the joints connections

3D Printing joints advantages in spaceframe structures:

  • Decrease material cost and waste
  • More accuracy
  • Fewer elements thus simpler detail
  • Aesthetic concerns


  • Not well-developed material-wise. The quality of current material for 3D printing is sometimes not suitable for special conditions like direct sunlight
view to the up
joints’ first phase design

Structural Considerations:

  • Tension in the elements, moment inertia in at the connections to the joins
  • If we can develop larger joints, beams size would decrease, total structure weight would decrease
  • In rigid connections, the main load on beam is on its 10-20 cm ends.
  • Structures with rigid joints are usually lighter
refined joint ready to 3D print
refined joints printed

Next steps:

  • 3 to 4m high prototype 
  • analyzing the forces, bending force, torsion, and tension, in both sleeve and internal joints, secondary fastener or pin detailing
  • Studying the impact of the printing direction and material on structural performance
  • Based on the rods and joints design and size, there is an opportunity of either single or double layer surfaces covering parts of the dome or a tower

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