The Nature Clouds installation is a series of suspended planter structures designed by Daniel Pouzet and produced using a robotic 3D-printing process developed by Branch Technology. Branch Technology’s innovative free-form building system employs a patented 3D volumetric lattice and thermoplastic materials.

Thornton Tomasetti provided structural engineering services for the exhibit, which consists of a 3D-printed material with steel and cable reinforcements. CORE studio performed fabrication modeling of its more than 50 unique parts, which were laser-cut and fabricated to be shipped and assembled in the field. We also furnished advanced BIM documentation for erection and fabrication.

The structural engineering scope included analysis for three pod designs – one large pod, approximately 40’ x 30’ in the plan; two identical pods that are refined versions of the prototype pods; and two additional pods, approximately 30 percent larger than the prototype. Thornton Tomasetti developed a lightweight armature system to support the latticed dome and trays, using the geometrical compatibility of the cloud module to create similar structural systems for all three modules.

Services: Fabrication + Physical Prototyping, Research & Development
Location: Chicago, IL
Practice: Structural Engineering
Client: Field Museum
Architect: Daniel Pouzet
Fabricators: Branch Technology

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