QuaDror: A New Structural System

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An exciting new structural system will be unveiled tomorrow at the Design Indaba conference in Cape Town, South Africa. QuaDror, invented and patented by Dror Benshetrit, is a space truss geometry system inspired by versatility and structural integrity of interlocking members.

Like a magician revealing the secrets behind his magic, shows that the mechanism behind these structures is surprisingly simple but it is the complex interaction of the interlocking members that makes it so unique.   From a simple block model to a bridge support system, the QuaDror system shows its abilities at all scales.

Courtesy of QuaDror

Embarking on a four year investigation centered around collaboration and experimentation, Dror Benshetrit’s team developed a system that produces overwhelming strength and great adaptability to configure for a variety of conditions. The versatility of QuaDror is an asset that makes it distinct, because of its ability to accommodate our ever-changing profession of design.

Letting the geometry of the structural system drive their investigations, five development directions for applications became apparent. The five applications appear almost limitless: dividing, dwelling, trestle, fenestration, and artistic installation.

The team has also proposed the QuaDror Home as a response to the world’s homeless population increase and forecasted housing needs.  The cost-effective home would be strive to be pragmatic as well as easily shippable due to its compact geometry and collapsibility.  The proposed kit of parts, including QuaDror universal joints, can be shipped in one 40-foot container and incorporates local materials for the envelope and beams.  The first QuaDror Homes are anticipated for construction in 2012 in Sierra Leone and Brazil.

Courtesy of QuaDror

“We are interested in the transformative power of design as an interdependent response to social, economical and ecological matters. Our work is the interactive process of inventing and providing (infra)structure and comprehensive systems to improve our ways of living. In effect, we believe that designers and users become co-creators.” —Dror Benshetrit

Courtesy of QuaDror

A brief summary of the main advantages:

• Dividing walls: from interior walls to highway sound barriers, the QuaDror system provides the same tremendous stability as a solid cube, while using only 20% of the volume. A retaining wall would be able to withstand hurricane winds with no additional supports, while also exhibiting excellent acoustic properties.

• Architectural systems: using typical off-the-shelf beams with QuaDror joint and static joints allows for incredible speed of construction, and a complete separation of the structure and exterior cladding.

Cite: Minner, Kelly. "QuaDror: A New Structural System" 22 Feb 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=114141>


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    I’d love to have a model to explore the geometry. I dont think i cant grasp it completely yet. looks very interesting!

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    The system looks beautiful. I can’t wait to learn more about it and see it in action.

    It does look as though tremendous sheer forces are being exerted at the connection points. Concrete may not be the ideal construction material for such a structural application. It appears as though the connection points would need to be fairly robust in order to handle structural type loads.
    Thanks for sharing.

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    I’m sorry, but I don’t see anything that constitutes a “new structural system.” Instead I see a few images of a somewhat banal hinge approximating either a wall/diaphragm or a pin connection which are then built into a series of equally banal project designs. Not much here that can actually be called smart, beautiful or brilhante.

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      That’s because you have no imagination as to the possibilities and you can only see what is. However had you imagined the possibilities the video surely intends just that – possibilities. This is only the spark.

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    There are four L shaped pieces with lap joint ends. The ends have mitered cuts. In the trestle at least a screw bolt is inserted in through the end so it comes out perpendicular to L front on each end of the L. Then two L’s are placed in a square formation with the screw threads facing up. The next two L’s are placed on L belows with the ends of the L’s matching the L’s below. When they are placed though, the thread of L below is inserted into the opposite L. A fastener is then mated to the screw thread end creating a bolted joint locking the lap join in place. The mitered angles allow it to hinge.

    “The form is constructed of four identical L-shaped pieces, in which the angles are all the same, that operates with a kind of yin/yang action through a unique corner hinge. That allows it to open up for its full expression, or fold flat. It’s always parallel to the ground and identical from all four sides.”

    I don’t know how they actually implemented it in the flat pieces physically, but if you can make out–its the corner structural hinges that make it work. Not how they are physically connected–bolt joint, tape, etc (though obviously for the material and structural load it matters), but how they are connected–that enable it to fold from flat to space truss.

    I am going to try to replicate it with a paper model. I think its basically two squares that interlock each other at hinges in diagonal axis between two opposing corners and fold out to form a space truss. I will be honest–I am kind of currently indolent so it may take some time for me to get to it, but I don’t think it will take much time at all to do itself. I can see just as easily figuring out the miters and making my own trestle and/or dividing wall model.

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