UTK Filament Tower (2019)

  • Share This:

Client: University of Tennesse, Knoxville, College of Architecture and Design
architect: Marshall Prado
Location: Columbus, Indiana, USA

Date: 2019-08-23 00:00:00 +0000 UTC
Tags: art, cfrp, gfrp, materials

UTK Filament Tower

The tower, installed as part of Exhibit Columbus 2019, was designed and fabricated by Marshall Prado and his students as part of the Computational Design and Digital Fabrication Seminar at the UTK Faculty of Architecture. The final piece measured over 30ft tall (approx 10m to our UK readers) and weighed only 540 pounds (245kg).

The tower is made from 27 glass and carbon-fibre components that were robotically fabricated at UTK’s own fabrication facilities. The material layout and density within each component reflects the loads travelling through the structure. The foundations were 3d printed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Format provided structural design consultancy for the project from stress datasets used for generating material layout to technical reporting required for site sign-off/approval.


Project Team: Prof. Marshall Prado

Collaborators: Oak Ridge National Laboratory – Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, Format Engineers Ltd, Fiber and Composite Manufacturing Facility, Entomology and Plant Pathology

Development and Fabrication: Shane Principe, Sarah Wheeler, Courtney St. John, Alex Stiles, Nadin Jabri, Geng Liu, Pete Paueksakon, Tyler Sanford, Michaela Stanfill, Michael Mckever , Michael Swartz, Hollywood Conrad, Teig Dryden, Howard Fugitt, Kristia Bravo, Bridget Ash, Kevin Saslawsky, Michael Vineyard, Zane Smith, Josh Mangers, Patrick Dobronski, Joe Gauspohl and with the support of Craig Gillam and the UTK Fablab.

Sponsors: University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design, Teijin Carbon, Owens Corning, Techmer PM, McLube, SGL Carbon, Hutch and Kevina Schumaker


Photographs have been kindly supplied by Marshall Prado at UTK. We assume there are several photographers and we thank you for your work! Let us know if you need some specific credits.