DesignLabWorkshop 3D-printed the Solar Bytes Pavilion’s 94 modules using a 6-axis robot arm in the Robotic Fabrication Lab at Kent State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design. The modules fit together using an interlocking snap-fit joint that gives the finished structure a seamless look. The pavilion’s east-west positioning and self-supporting arch form were designed to follow the path of the sun and maximize solar exposure.
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In addition to collecting and storing solar energy, each module is equipped with a light sensor that records the sun’s exposure over the course of a day. Those recordings dictate the light levels of the integrated LEDs so that the pavilion will serve as a reflection of the sun’s exposure. “If it is cloudy in the morning and clear in the afternoon, the pavilion’s east side will be illuminated for a shorter period of time than the west side, reflecting those environmental conditions,” write the architects.