Articular cartilage has a limited regenerative capacity. Tissue engineering strategies adopting seeding and differentiation of individual chondrocytes on porous 3D scaffolds of clinically relevant size remains a considerable challenge. A well documented method to produce small samples of differentiated cartilage tissue in vitro is via micro-mass (pellet) culture, whereby, high concentrations of chondrocytes coalesce to form. a spherical tissue pellet. However, pellet culture techniques are not applied clinically as it is only possible to produce small amounts of tissue (1–2mm). The aims of this study were to develop a method for mass-production of pellets, and investigate whether an alternative “pellet seeding” approach using smart 3D scaffold design would allow large numbers of spherical pellets to be fixed in place.