Gilman's Tetrahedral Truss / Lorimerlite Framework
This project began as an exploration into the self-organising principles of soap bubble clusters, which are known to exhibit observables rules (Plateau's Laws) ensuring that cumulatively each bubble encloses the maximum volume of space with the least possible surface area of partitions.
Informed by these self-organising principles an economic support structure has been developed. The resulting lightweight framework is intended to resist compression with the least structural material, as an isotropic (repeating) geometry. Effectively the framework fills a defined volume of space with the shortest possible length of a defined number of struts, making them individually inherently resistant to buckling under axial compression. Also as all struts meet consistently at an angle of 109.5 degrees, loads are distributed evenly.
Diamond Cubic Truss
Effectively the resulting structure is an abstract bubble cluster. However, more precisely, it also happens to follow an identical geometry to that of the diamond cubic lattice (the molecular structure of a carbon diamond).
This 109.5 degree angle is a key feature in soap bubble clusters, with the edges of cell membranes consistenly meeting four at a time at 109.5 degree vertices. However in order to achieve this angle the edges of each cell are required to bend slightly. Translated into a structural geometry, bends result in poor axial compression peformance. However by rotating each neighbouring vertex by 180 degrees (about the connecting struct) a framework can be constructed that maintains the 109.5 degree rule while also maintaining straight struts.