How Additive Manufacturing helps improve acoustics in large & open spaces?

Image: Materialise

Acoustics have become a real concern in almost all aspects of modern society, with the most obvious in large, open, multi-use spaces.  The discomfort often created by such unpleasant noises have led to specific research in the field.

With the goal of improving acoustics in several areas such as concert halls or sports arenas, the architecture department at TU Delft, worked on a research project that aimed at enhancing visitors’ auditory experiences.

The project was funded by Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research and involved the contribution from several companies including technology experts from Materialise at the manufacturing level.

Architects from TU Delft wanted to create panels that would be placed inside rooms at the exact place where bothersome frequencies and echoes occurred. Their idea was to block these bothersome frequencies and echoes with the help of a structure that features organic geometries.

At the manufacturing level, experts from Materialise used Laser Sintering to produce the dynamic structure. For the experts, this technology was cost-effective and easily helped to achieve an attractive appearance.

We use additive manufacturing because of its potential to produce a large variety of complex shapes,” explains Michela Turrin, Associate Professor of Design Informatics at TU Delft. “It gives a lot of freedom in the complexity of the geometry, but it also enables production to be made in unique pieces that are not necessarily based on industrial repetition.”

The First testing shows that the sound absorbers used as part of the project can calculate the acoustic performance. “The results are promising, especially when it comes to lowering frequencies and we are really hoping that, very soon, we will able to launch a product for the construction industry”, one of the researchers said.

The application itself is a great example of what Additive Manufacturing can do in areas we do not expect to see the technology.

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