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Solar Bytes Pavilion, 3D printing, LEDs, solar power, solar energy, pavilion, solar powered pavilion, LED lights, 3D printed pavilion, DesignLabWorkshop, translucent plastic, smart technology, kent state university, arch pavilion, solar exposure, sun path

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.

+ DesignLabWorkshop