The Bionic Partition is the world’s largest metal 3D-printed airplane component. The partition is a dividing wall between the seating area and the galley of a plane, and it is a challenging component to design because of requirements to include a cutout for emergency stretcher access and to hold a fold-down seat for cabin attendants. The new Bionic Partition--created through a pioneering combination of generative design, 3D printing, and advanced materials--is almost 50% lighter than current designs, and it is also stronger. This weight savings translates to fuel savings and carbon reduction--ultimately this design approach could save up to one million metric tons of carbon emissions per year.
The final design illustrates custom “bio computation” developed by The Living and it demonstrates an ultra-high-performance result beyond typical engineering rules of thumb. (Slime mold grows in adaptive networks that are efficient and redundant. They are efficient because they use a small amount of paths to connect many points of food. They are redundant because when one path is damaged, the system can route around the problem and still connect all the points. For this project, we created a new algorithm that captures this “bio logic for structural design.) The Bionic Partition is currently undergoing 16G crash testing as part of the process for certification and integration into the current fleet of A320 planes.