The glass swing: a vector active structure made of glass struts and 3D-printed steel nodes

A. H. Snijder*, L. P.L. van der Linden, C. Goulas, C. Louter, R. Nijsse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
129 Downloads (Pure)


The majority of glass used in load-bearing structures is as planar elements. Some projects exist that use linear glass elements. This paper discusses in broad terms the design, engineering, and fabrication of a unique vector active glass structure consisting of glass bundles and partly printed steel connections. A structure was conceived that utilizes the glass bundles in a way that can be directly experienced by the users: a swing. To create a non-standard form for the swing, a structural optimization procedure was used. To realize the structure, a novel steel node was developed and produced using an additive manufacturing technique in steel. These novel applications have made the project innovation heavy, particularly considering the limited timeframe for its development and construction. Description is given of the several optimization techniques incorporated in the digital process, the assembly and testing of the glass bundles, and the manufacturing of the steel nodes by Wire and Arc Additive Manufacturing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-116
Number of pages18
JournalGlass Structures and Engineering
Volume5 (2020)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Dry assembled glass bundle struts
  • Linear structural glass elements
  • Steel additively manufactured nodes


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