Molded Pulp Birdhouse

Designed to meet the needs of migratory birds like the tree swallow, Trove is a birdhouse that provides an elegant fixture to any tree or backyard. Manufactured from recycled molded pulp treated with waterproofing coating, it is intended for seasonal use and designed to be easily composted once the bird migrate.


Tree Swallow

The Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) is a migratory bird found throughout the Americas. Measuring at 14 cm, Tree Swallow are smaller than Purple Martin but slightly larger than Bank Swallow. Exhibiting agile twist and turns, these aerial fliers use their swiftness to catch flying insects. Their iridescent blue-green back, white chest and black eye mask makes them easy to spot. Like starling, tree swallow murmurate during migration to protect themselves from birds of prey. These murmuration forms a spectacular funnel cloud or tornado like phenomenon in the sky. Migration patterns have shown a decline of tree swallows in eastern North America.
Dietary Needs - Grasshopper

Dietary Needs

These insectivores feeds from dusk to dawn on both flying and ground insects and substitute with berries during the winter months.

Behaviour - Bird


Considered highly social birds, they tend to nest close together with other pairs and show signs of play, often seen chasing around with feathers.

Calcium Consumption

Calcium Consumption

During breading season, the mother consumes calcium rich items (bones and eggshells) to support the growth and survival of their offsprings

Nesting - Tree


Primarily nest in hollow cavities of dead trees that support the growth of insects and often in man-made nest boxes

Habitat - Swamp


Tends to live in fields, marches and shorelines near bodies of water. They begin migrating south during late July-August.

Predators - Bear


Common nest predators include omnivores and carnivores like raccoons, bears and bird of prey

Early developmental sketches


Part of the ideation process sketches along with prototypes were developed. Ideas explored included birdhouses for public and private areas. Inspirations from vases, bottles, consumer products were gathered to guide the form language. Effort was made to divert from traditional "bird house" form while providing adequate area for nesting.

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 and environmentally conscious material of choice. Further research into molded pulp manufacturing techniques, waterproofing, and talking to industry professionals with experience in the development of EcoLogic's Molded Pulp detergent 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 additives

Creating the concept 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
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.
Birdhouse Packaging
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