The Venus flower basket has been the subject of significant study due to its hierarchical, lattice-like design. While various hypotheses have been proposed for the basis of the macrostructure of the basket, most have not been validated. In this work, we examined the literature on the structure-function relationships proposed for the basket’s complex network of lattice members, including our own studies with x-ray microtomography. Three key design principles were abstracted into cylindrical designs similar to the actual biological and used to fabricate specimens using Selective Laser Sintering. These specimens were tested under three loading conditions: compression, bending, and torsion, and compared to a baseline design. Results show that each of the three design principles represents a significant, and sequential improvement in performance, mapping to growth stages in the Venus flower basket. This work argues for the use of additive manufacturing in generating analogs of natural structures to isolate structure-function relationships.