Modular Extension | Connectors | Cellular expansion | Building Technology

(Wilfried Ellmer) #1

Modular Extension

The train configuration

One of the key features necessary for a seasteading concept is its “unlimited extensibility” it can grow on the watersurface just like a land based City grows into the surrounding fields.

This is a key feature as growth is necessary to assure the future development of the floating city.

Growth in a triangular ram-shape bow concept is taking place in the arms. It has been mentioned that the arms need to have a train configuration. This configuration allows to add pieces as the development of the City requires more and more space.


Modularity has been discussed in other threads in the context of LEGO style snap fit sistems and tiling concepts that have some kind of “connectors” train knockles have been discussed in earlier discussions. But at the end nothing is better than the things used in the marine industry today. Connections do not need to be re invented, they are all around us and in dayly use - rope and tires give flexibility any boat owner knows how to use them to create the kind of connections that allow the required properties of movement and connection.

Cellular expansion

If you think of a matrix printing process you find that each droplet of the building material delivered by the printer is “connected to earlier droplets” by adhesion without the need of connectors or bolts that bolt the modules together to a solid piece.

In some way matrix printing is modular building - making the modules small (drop size) and skipping the connectors - so compared to LEGO it is much more sophisticated easier and universal. It keeps the infinite expandability of the building process which is the good thing and avoids connectors which is the bad thing.

Matrix Printing has a model in nature where cells (modules) come together to build something much bigger. A 200 ton whale body can be created in a continuous growth process from a single microsopic cell.

In our building process we have a sistem of shoe box sized cells that can connected and be added without the use of connectors in all directions in a freeforming process.

If you google it up | Search Term : “floating light honeycomb cement composite construction” | you can find examples how this applies for floating cities .

It allows light shell structures, truss structures, in any shape and weight class you can imagine.

If you want to see a picture of a cellular structure try this google search

This kind of structures are not “code conform” we therefore don´t see them frequently in our land cities - a floating city operates in a code free space - seasteading is not only a door-opener for new politics - it is also a accelerator for new technology.


Part of the cellular expansion principle is explained in this TSI thread

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(Chad Elwartowski) split this topic #2

34 posts were split to a new topic: Concrete composites

(Wilfried Ellmer) #3

To understand what our lead designer @Matias has on the drawing board and how this stuff is modular, can grow unlimited, and can have the shapes that are in the pictures you need to understand that this is NOT “off the shelf concrete construction” you see in land based construction - it is something new .


This is a slight variation to the structure in the picture above it is a “bubble cluster structure” using room sized cells rather than truss construction.

Again here the structure is reasonably Draupner impact safe, can grow room for room, new rooms can be added at any time in any direction. The load distribution is similar to a foamblock and does not depend on load bearing colums and beams.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #4

It is no coincidence that Matias Volco has studied at the class of Zaha Hadid. Architecture has become Sculpture, and the code free ambient of a floating city is exactly what is needed to get light cement composite building technology to its full bloom. So New-VENICE and New-Atlantis far from being land buildings floated out on some kind of concrete barge will take construction and architecture an evolutionary step further we will finally step up to the building art that nature has developed millions of years before humans.

So when the question what happened to "modular building" is answered with "it evolved" - that is EXACTLY it.

To be clear, modular building is not dismissed out of hand. It just became clear that expansion does not require modular building. That would be a “concept error” modular building is just one among many options to have expansability. Connectors are not the only solution. Thinking beyond modularity and connectors is worth it.


This was, and still is one of the most innovative seasteading ideas around. But, I just couldn’t (and still can’t) picture the “on the water” technical method of a “matrix printing modular building - making the modules small (drop size) and skipping the connectors”…

(Wilfried Ellmer) #7

@Octavian | i will answer this in PM…

I will not publish the details and pictures here as this seems not be apreciated by the new forum admin…

For those who want to see those pictures the ones that can be publicly released are published on internet and show the “range of possibilities” from heavy to light construction methods we have been exploring for the last 3 decades.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #8

composite-termite-dot-printing-yook3™ -

Termites dot printing their structure - it is a dot of material placed by a termite a time, the building grows for ever in a continous process as the colony requires it.

Their buildings exceed ours in both - size (body building relation) and structural toughness by far.

What is their technology - in short : dot printing of honeycomb shell and truss structures from composite materials ( plant fiber, basic cement, fillers )

If you want so the ball of material that the termite on the left has in its jaw is a “module of some kind” but it is certainly not connected to the other dots with “connectors”.

Equally the ball of material you see floating in the water in the video is a “construction module” but it will not be “screwed to the building” either it is a integrated and ongoing composite dot printing build.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #9

Bubble cluster structure combining truss and shell technology.


How human ambients made in “termite tech” can look like…

(Larry G) #10

CA 1600+ meter termite mound? I presume you have as link to a credible source?

And the architect Zaha Hadid’s proposed vision of the airport hasn’t been built and does not appear to be designed, just drawn. One can draw anything. That doesn’t make it structurally sound. I haven’t seen any proposals to print the airport. It would presumably be a combination of building framework and casting, like many conventional designs. It also isn’t envisioned to move on its foundations.

One should give credit to the source of images. It’s part f our community standards here.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #11

@thebastidge | Larry - your reference

(Wilfried Ellmer) #12

@thebastidge | our lead Architect Matias Volco actually studied at Zaha Hadid in London so i think we are on the safe side when it comes to implement Zaha Hadid visions correctly - thanks for your concern… we discuss that kind of matters in our engineering and structural design boards all the time.

Our current working base:
• With the advanced composite technology we have at hand (and tested) the visions of grand dame Zaha can be easyly implemented in the watermantle of the planet.
• We do not need modular
• We do not need connectors


I don’t want to be critical, but no part in that video actually said anything about the mound being 1609 meters. Doesn’t even say anything about the height of any mound. The mound featured in that video couldn’t have been more than 6-7 meters. You do realize that 1609 meters equals to 1.6 kilometres, I’m sure? At that size, you can see it from hundreds of miles away.

This image was from here

If every worker Termite was the size of David Attenborough then the Nigerian Termite mound would stand a mile high. Here it is compared to the Dubai Tower. I’m not taking this as fact, I was watching the video and I felt out the analogy.

But the thing is, termites aren’t the size of David Attenborough, whoever that is. Also, the assumption above is misrepresentative of the compression strength of materials. Humans (or anyone) can’t build buildings that tall because the compression strength of available materials can’t withstand the weight of the materials under gravity. Building everything with carbon fibre will likely bankrupt the United States within a year.

In the context of seasteading, not only will you have to deal with gravity, the wind and the waves, you’ll also have to deal with the weight of people living on that platform/barge/ship. I can’t say whether or not the construction method you suggested will be better or not, because I’m not an architect.

However, instead of mimicking nature’s construction method, which is usually aimed at smaller creatures unaffected much by the weight of the material, we do what mankind has always done best. Making new materials to work with.


However, standing one on a floating structure is so far beyond ant feat of engineering mankind is capable of.

@Shiina_Ai a number of architects have designed structures over a mile in height. Frank Lloyd Wright proposed one in 1956. His scale model was over 22 feet high. It would have been steel framed.


[quote=“JL_Frusha, post:17, topic:2765, full:true”]@Shiina_Ai a number of architects have designed structures over a mile in height. Frank Lloyd Wright proposed one in 1956. His scale model was over 22 feet high. It would have been steel framed.
Don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying it’s impossible, I’m saying that our materials aren’t suited for such engineering projects and it will likely stay in dreams and radical designs. A very tall building suffers more from the effects of wind and rotation of the Earth. At some point, the buttressed core similarly used in Burj Al Khalifa will be so huge you will need the whole city to support a single building. While we can still build it if we want to, it serves no purpose other than to stroke the country’s ego. If we have better materials for example, we won’t even need the buttressed core, though we can still use that design for added strength.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #19

The technology limits of our building materials in the ocean colonization context have been discussed here

Compression strength:

Spheres to a maximum 1000m water depth - ocean sphere concept.
Tubular to a maximum of 500m water depth - tunnels, hyperloop, torus, spar, etc. structures.

Highrise on the water:

Some 20 floors are possible - but highrise in general is not necessary as the primary need for highrise the exorbitant cost of building space in city centers is rendered NULL in floating construction.

To get a “competent vision” what is possible feasible and recommended by people who understand both cutting edge architecture and the specific possibilities of our advanced cement composite technologies have a look here for an overview of the frame of possibilities.

Oceanic Business Alliance base theorem:

• We can settle the ocean not only on the surface but all the way down to average ocean depth with the materials we have at hand today. | That is a tremendous amount of VOLUME that becomes available for humans . Exactly the space reserve to develop we need before taking off to space colonization.

• In the planetary waterspace high rise is somehow INVERTED | why would you go a mile high if you can go a mile deep or a squaremile wide on the empty ocean surface much easier.


Fantasy art aside, there is no magical way to build floating vessels without suitable displacement of large quantities of water. Even the cruise ships and mega container ships are running into that problem. This is why the majority of shipping bypasses Hawaii and smaller container vessels service Hawaii.

Regardless on attachment methods, these ‘modular extensions’ will all have to have some sort of active ballast control, for the attachment process, as well as boarding ramps between them. Probably have to have guardrails around all points, to prevent people from getting between them, as well.

(.) #21

My opinion is, that there is a limit how tall buildings can get,
and humans are not termites.

So, termites with exoskeleton and chitin.
There is some geometry analysis of how large an exoskeleton can get.
It is about the length and the volumetric increase with length.
That if the length increases the volume increases, but with the cube of the
length, so length on the 3rd power. That puts a weight limit on size of
exoskeleton of insects, such as termites.

That is on land.

In water and seawater, I think, the buoyancy cuts in. So the exoskeleton
can be bigger and it will not break because of gravity, because buoyancy
can counteract gravity.

There are lots of contradictions I can see in the designs of seasteads,
and I think, let those build it who want to.

I do not feel like I have to criticize anything. Gravity and buoyancy will prevail, not me.

(Larry G) #22

That does not have anything to do with 1600 meter (1.6 km) termite mounds.


I lived in West Africa and saw plenty of termite mounds.

They are full of only mud, spit, and shit … piled deep and wide.

And THAT - not the fiction of mile-high termite mounds - is where they are similar to some of the comments about seastead construction.

There are NO mile-high termite mounds in Africa.

Only in human imagination - and the occasional comment thread - does mud, spit, and shit get piled that deep (and, on the TSI threads, wide).

In comparison, the Grand Canyon’s deepest point is only slightly more than one mile. :open_mouth:


There is, however, a mangrove honey produced in Kenya that reportedly is useful in treating smallpox. :unamused:

Perhaps the bees can be trained to use old termite mounds as a new hive.

I reckon just one mile-high bee hive could generate enough mangrove honey to treat all the smallpox cases in the world. :wink:

If only someone could train the termites to build their mounds in the shape of submarines …