MIT Optimized Bench


COLLABORATOR: MIT, Digital Structures Lab

LOCATION: To be on display at MIT

BUILT: January 2017

VOLUME: 12 cu.ft.


This project is the result of a collaborative effort between Branch Technology and the Digital Structures group within MIT's Department of Architecture. Led by Professor Caitlin Mueller, the research group worked to optimize the form of a traditional beam. Starting with a primitive rectangular volume, the research group used FEA(Finite Element Analysis) and other custom computational tools to iterate through geometries and printing patterns that would result in increased loading strength.

The project enabled Branch to develop an industrial 6-axis robotic mill, and was used in combination with C-FAB 3D printing to create a strong and highly finished composite structure. The structure was 3D printed by Branch Technology in carbon-reinforced ABS. It was filled with expandable foam and robotically milled to smooth the outer surface. The final finish was created using fiber-glass and an automotive coating. The result is a form that optimizes traditional structures using an array of advanced design tools and digital fabrication.


Courtesy of MIT Department of Architecture


Melody Rees