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Inclucent Cellulose Manifolds

Synthesizing Materiality: Finctional Gradient Material Anisotropy using Bio-materials

Nature offers many examples of principles of structural and form optimization, where the
material properties are tuned according to their function.
This research aims to explore the opportunities of functionally gradient material anisotropy using
biopolymers. The outcome of this research is to be applied to an experimental piece of furniture
design to prove its feasibility.
With the improvement of multi­material additive manufacturing, opens the possibility to fabricate
monolith object exhibiting material anisotropy. Additive manufacturing enables the control of
material deposition in a specific location within a three­dimensional matrix.
This research explores the viability of a natural resin and cellulose based biocomposite, as an
alternative to both petroleum based polymers as well as biodegradable plastics.
Although bioplastics are sustainable alternative to petroleum based plastics, it is not always that
a temporary material is sought for the application.

Computation, Biomaterials and Architecture

Author: Noor El-Gewely

Faculty: Marcos Cruz

Faculty Assistant: Nina Jotanovic

Computational Expert: Rodrigo Aguirre & Jayant Khan

Synthetic Biology Expert: Dr. Nuria Conde Pueyo

Robotic Fabrication Expert: Kunaljit Chadha

Robotic Additive Manufacturing Expert: Sofoklis Giannapolis

Theory & Methods: Maite Bravo & Devesa

Fabrication Support: Fab Lab Barcelona Team

Material Knowledge: FormX


21g  Colofonia Resin

6g    Delignified Sawdust

23g  Colofonia Resin

4g    Beeswax

25g  Colofonia Resin

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 robotic 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. Other case studies explored during this research were; testing various types of natural resins, diluting Colofonia resin with ethanol, combining with oleic oil, natural beeswax, and cellulose from wood fibers both lignified and delignified.

This research followed a materially driven workflow. The global shape was informed by the
load­paths by the force flows on the objects applied onto the design.

In this research by testing the mechanical properties of the various bio­composites, and well as
a variety of manufacturing techniques, it was determined that casting into a CNC milled mold
was a more suitable fabrication method than robotic fabrication for Colofonia resin. The main

two factors contributing to this was that Colofonia resin was highly temperature as well as the
lack of structural performance of the material when it was deposited in thin linear strands.

This research aims to highlight the relationship between material properties and structural
optimization, in order to achieve multi material biocomposites in monolithic structures.

Robotic Additive Manufacturing

IAAC_Inlucent Cellulose Manifolds_Noor El-Gewely_23_edited
IAAC_Inlucent Cellulose Manifolds_Noor El-Gewely_24_edited

Table Prototype Design

Functionally Gradient Material in a Monolith Object

Fabrication Method

Workflow Sequence


Inlucent Cellulose Manifolds is a project of IaaC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed at C-Biom.A Research & Development Studio, at Master in Advanced Architecture 02 in 2016-2017. 

See more on IAAC blog

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