Preprint / Version 1

Interlocking 3D-printed bars, trusses and space frames to build arbitrarily large structures




3D printing, Tsugite, Okkake Daisen Tsugi, Truss, Space Frame, Modularization


It is shown that the 'Tsugite' (joint) technology used in the traditional Japanese construction method turns to be highly useful and practical in making small 3D-printed modules that can then be assembled to build arbitrarily large structures made up of bars and trusses.  Of numerous variations of the Tsugite technology, we choose and focus on Okkake Daisen Tsugi, one of the most widely used methods for joining beams and columns, and study how it can be scaled down in such a way that it can be printed with low-cost FDM 3D printers using PETG and PLA filaments.  Our tensile test shows that a 4.8 mm square bar with an Okkake Daisen Tsugi joint comes with a breaking load of 160-210 N.  We further applied our idea to build arbitrarily large, functional 2D trusses and 3D trusses (space frames), which are expected to open up many new applications.


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