Trove is a birdhouse that provides a home for migratory birds like the tree swallow while providing an elegant fixture to any tree or backyard. Manufactured from recycled pulp treated with waterproofed coating, it can be easily composted after the birds have finished nesting for the season

Migratory Birds

The common depiction of a “birdhouse” tend to look like the ones seen in the pictures above. Angled roof, rectangular base - the design of birdhouses are often based on human houses to make them more attractive to birds, but why is that so?

With each nesting season, birdhouses can accumulate debris such as nesting material, feathers, and feces, which can harbor bacteria and parasites. Cleaning it is not pleasant, and presents a biohazard to humans. Are there ways to make cleaning easier? Can the birdhouse be made differently?

With the questions in mind, sketches were developed to explore possible solutions. Birdhouses with automated cleaning? Detachable birdhouse with a disposable casing? Fully disposable birdhouse?!?!

Inspiration for this bird house came from both geometric and organic forms. Effort was made to create a birdhouse that mimic the natural/manmade environment it would be installed at while providing adequate area for nesting. Material exploration into paper pulp molds proved interesting.

Early Prototypes

Working along with sketches, mockups and prototypes were made to explore different forms and sizes, methods of secure mounting as well as packaging.

In the process of exploring forms and methods of manufacturing, I came across a molded fibre pulp as a cheap, fully compostable material of choice.

Research into molded pulp manufacturing techniques, waterproofing, and consulting professionals with experience in the development of EcoLogic's molded bottle lead to the final design of the birdhouse.

The paper pulp material was explored through found samples and creation of paper pulp prototypes with various additives.

Creating a looks like model of the final product, a block of high-density polyurethane foam was CNC machined according to the CAD data developed.

The machined bodies were then cut out, sanded smooth, and spray painted to resemble the textures of molded pulp.

The two halves are adhered together and mounted on to a FDM printed mount.

Features of Trove
Exploded viewManufacturing Details

Manufacturing Process

Recycled post-consumer paper products  gets blended with hot water in a pulper, the celluose fibers of the paper seperates to create the pulp. The pulp is then screened through filters to remove contaminates
A formation tool decendeds into a vat of pulp, vaccum sucks the pulp through a stainless steel mesh. The pulp adheres and accumulates onto the mold as it lifts up onto the transfer mold
Pressing & Curing
The transfer mold tranfers the molded product onto a hot press tool where it is directly dried within. This cure-in-mold technique create the highest quality product and best surface texture
Post Process
Once dried, the water proof coating is applied on the product. The product is then stacked and packaged
*Illustrations adapted from
Birdhouse Packaging
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See it in Augmented Reality
Part of my ongoing experiment with AR and the applications of such technology. To view, open this link below on an iPhone or iPad.