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Bulleit Bourbon

3D Printed bar

Overview

ECR Labs and Machine Histories were approached by Bulleit Bourbon to deliver a bar for multiple promotional events. The bar design was to be constructed solely out of 3D printed parts and had an extremely tight turn around time of fewer than 3 weeks to complete.

The final dimensions of the bar were over 28’ x 3’ x 14’ (8.5m x 1m x 4m) and were made up of over 3,750 individual parts making it one of the most complex free-standing 3D printed structures ever created.

wide shot of bar
trusswork
finished printed node showing SN
tagged nodes
close up of infill

processing

A custom software pipeline was created to automatically analyze the existing digital design and break it up into nodes and connecting struts. The first step of the software suite was to rebuild the design as simple lines. The system could then analyze the shared vertices of all lines and generate matching custom geometry for each node and strut. This geometry could then be batch exported for 3D printing.

A sophisticated serial numbering system was developed to ensure that we could manage the sheer quantity of parts for assembly. In this process, each node was further analyzed by our automated pipeline and assigned a number that would identify its position in the bar as well as all struts that connected to it. This data was engraved on the 3D geometry inside covered areas so it would not be visible after final assembly. This system was vital to make sure the structure could be assembled accurately and in a reasonable amount of time.

Mechanical

The mechanical connection of all parts needed to hide as much of the connection hardware as possible to ensure that the printed components were center stage. To accomplish this a clever captured nut system was developed. This allowed all of the nodes to be preloaded with the appropriately sized nuts as a batch and then the struts could simply be screwed in place as needed.

The end result was a clean connection of all struts and nodes with only the copper plated screw heads being visible.

node strut separated showing screw
node/strut assembled showing hidden
wide shot of bar

Final Assembly

Being able to rapidly assemble and disassemble the bar on-site for shows was a critical feature of the final product. In order to achieve this, the bar was broken up into 12 separate clusters. These clusters were permanently assembled, requiring the connection of only a couple hundred linking struts on site to fully assemble the bar. This was just as beneficial in the deconstruction, allowing a small team to break down the bar in a days time.