Bionic Inspired Stool Printed with Zytel®


Largest Part Printed with Zytel® 3D Filaments Takes the Load


3D printing allows topographic optimisation (left side), as wall thickness adjustments can be easily implemented versus standard plastic conversion processes, which often require equivalent wall thickness over a part.

Key Features

  • strength
  • stiffness
  • easy FLM printing
  • surface esthetics

Key Benefits

  • functionality, holding a person
  • support structure free printing
  • no painting

New design concepts for functionality

3D printing slashes the traditional design principles as typically applied for plastic  components. No restrictions for wall thickness, undercuts or clamping force considerations, just a few for overhangs or infills, which in sum  allows  a bionic inspired design approach. 

Traditionally plastic engineers believe in constant wallthickness and  ribs to reinforce a component, how can they trust a “bionic” design?

The answer had to be given with a real and functional demo part, as trivial as a stool.

With nearly no constraints in mind, a DuPont CAE expert designed a stool inspired by bionic and to some extent Gaudis architectural principles. There was though one constraint: maximum overhang angle of 45 degrees, so to allow support structure free additive manufacturing with FLM. Structural analysis was perfomed to make sure that it would hold a person, and never a topological optimization has been so easy to implement, as wall thickness variations are not a production concern.

The stool was finally produced with a wall thickness of 5mm and a low double digit infill on the X1000 model of German RepRap within 60 hours and for the size of the item a relatively small layer height, beneficial for the surface esthetics of this demonstrator, which can definitely not be manufactured in any of the traditional plastic processing methods.

3D printing allows designs, that cannot be manufactured with traditional plastic processing methods.