by mr


15.12.2011. MAS/CAAD/ETH/Zürich
This project was produced as a part of a research on digital fabrication at the Chair for Computer Aided Architectural Design ETH 2011/12 in Zurich.

Main focus of this workshop was digital production and its relationship to design, generative modeling, logistics, materiality and the physical representation of information in the digital age. Design was based on a Reaction-Diffusion algorithm, programmed in Processing. Aim was to create a three-dimensional self-standing structure using CAD/CAM devices – Kuka robot.

Design was adjusted towards a voxelization of the structure, due to the limited cutting-angle of the robot (45°), a simpler setup process and a more homogeneous and smoother surface. The orientation of the 1148 individual bricks was adjusted depending on the overall curvature of the shape. The resulting elments were then intersected with the main geometry and grouped into several modules depending on load and assemblability.


Fabrication with the seven-axis robot was developed and continuously improved – the jigsaw, specialized blades and clamping mechanisms. Speed of the robot was also a constraint taken into account : how many parts can we cut in a given span of time? The number of parts affects design : it defines the resolution of the form. Ytong aerated concrete building blocks were main building material as they are widely spread, common, inexpensive, lightweight and quickly assembleble.


Final structure consisted of six separated elements. Each element was built manually by glueing digitally fabricated bricks together. 350 kg of specialized Ytong glue plus an additonal 50 kg of stong cement glue were used. Cardboard formwork helped to keep the parts in place during assemblage. Final surface was sanded.


The complete process took approximately 300 hours of Robot cutting and another 150 hours for assembly with 8-10 people working in three shifts for 24 hours a day.


MAS 2011/12 Team: Katia Ageeva, Diana Alvarez, Orestis Argyropoulos, Stella Azariadi, Tianyi Chen, Yun-Ying Chiu, Ivana Damjanovic, García Pepo, Martínez, Melina Mezari, Bojana Miskeljin, Evangelos Pantazis, Stanislava Predojevic, Stylianos Psaltis, Meda Radovanovic, Daniel Rohlek, Miro Roman, Castro Mauricio Rodríguez, Teemu Seppänen, Grete Soosalu – Supervision: Mathias Bernhard, Manuel Kretzer, Tom Pawlofsky

foto: miro roman