University of California’s Botanical Garden has a received a new attraction: a 3D printed bird’s nest. The nest project, which was modeled after the weaver bird’s nest, has been entitled “Plant Fiber Enclosure: Origins” and was conducted by UC Berkeley professor Paz Gutierrez and a team of his architecture students. Gutierrez and his team of students created this mesmerizing piece using 3D scanning, 3D printing and a robotic weaving process. These cutting-edge technologies have opened up new possibilities across a variety of industries, including architecture. Gutierrez views the use of these technologies as a necessity with the climate change and shrinking of natural resources. As he explains, “It’s opening new paths for research in this area.”

Check Out the Nest here:

The process has taken Gutierrez and his team two full semesters. Using their diverse skills in additive technologies, they constructed the nest using hundreds of individual pieces. The final piece was based of the 3D scan data from an actual weaver bird’s nest, weighs over 20 pounds and contains 400 individual pieces just in itself. Each piece consists of a 3D printed base, formed using 3D printed wood fibers, with robotically woven fibers attached to it.

By 3D scanning the weaver bird’s nest, the team was able to observe the nest and learn the patterns of construction the bird uses when building it. By transforming this patter into a design algorithm and breaking the 3D model of the nest into 3D printable segments, they were able to successfully 3D print the base pieces out of the wood waste filaments. The team then attached robotic weaving arms to their 3D printer so that it could weave hemp fibers around each 3D printed base. They constructed the entire piece at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design.


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