Phase 02: Experimentation

Phase 02: Experimentation (4 wks)

During this phase we'll explore the iconic details of modern architecture in light of emerging 3d printing technologies used in conjunction with new software paradigms. The modernist era was marked by tectonic expressions ranging from the wood joints of Wright, Aalto and Schindler, to the exquisite connections of Le Corbusier and Mies, to the fluid vaults of Saarinen, Candela, Utzon and more. These pre-digital construction details – whether machine-made or hand-crafted, mass-produced or singular - reveal the spirit and practice of their time. These architects – in dialogue with craftsman, technologists and theorists – shaped their era through a deep understanding of history, their contemporary condition, and an experimental spirit.

What is the future of the architectural detail in the age of 3d printing and additive manufacturing? How might the tectonics of contemporary architecture and its systems change in light of 3d printing technologies? How will these tectonics, techniques and processes change the way architects and its allied professions design and build?      

Cloud Capsule by Arthur Mamou-Mani ( link ) - also see  Project Silkworm

Cloud Capsule by Arthur Mamou-Mani (link) - also see Project Silkworm

ASSIGNMENT - DUE: Monday, March 7 at 12 noon:

Each week for the next 3 weeks you will explore key tectonic intersections of your chosen building using unique 3d printing techniques. The idea is to explore and experiment using a variety of machines, generative techniques, materials and other processes.

During this phase each of you will:

  1. Work in small groups of 2 persons max to explore work flows to translate precedent details using parametric design software and various plug-ins. 
  2. Experiment with 3d printing techniques to iterate through multiple design possibilities at 1/2" = 1'. In addition to structure, skin, floor, ceiling and apertures - you should consider integrative systems including plumbing, electrical, HVAC and other systems. 
  3. Execute multiple 3d printed details in multiple materials using generative techniques. Primary materials will be: First, PLA using the Flashforge 3d printers in the DCL;  then Photopolymer using CCA's Objet printers in the RP lab; then lastly, Plaster using CCA's ZCorp printer in the RP Lab (We need to coordinate with Keith Edwards to produce a nested file for this).
  4. Establish conceptual research agenda to structure Synthesis phase in which you will work with your partner to 3d print medium scale 1" = 1' artifacts (or larger).

Weekly Artifacts & Documentation:

  1. 3d Prints: Each week you should come to class with physical 3d printed artifacts of your explorations at 1/2" = 1' or 1"=1' scale. 
  2. 3d Models / Software Processes: For each 3d print that you have produced you should produce (2) 11x17 horizontal sheets documenting your process of translation and parametric design.
  3. 3d Printing Processes: Each week you should document your process / assembly techniques using photographs and video. These will be used during our weekly discussions and final show.

Requirements for Experimentation Phase Pin-up - Due Monday 3/7 at 12 noon

  1. Experimental Artifacts: multiple 3d Printed Artifacts printed out of Flashforge or Makerbot PLA, one Opaque or Translucent Photopolymer print using Objet, and one Plaster print using the ZCorp.
  2. Precedent Research: 3 11x17 sheets focused on research related to precedent building detail; each sheet should incude small descriptive text as necessary. One sheet can include photos/sketches from building / architect; One sheet should include color critical plan, sections from your Rhino model; One sheet should show the detail in axon and be color-coded and labelled. Please include graphic scale. 
  3. Translation: 2 11x17 sheets exploring a possible translation of precedent details; Explorations may include topics such as: structure, glass, rain screen, shade, water transmission, energy transmission, energy collection and transmission, illumination, other topics of interest. These should take the form of axons or renderings and should be graphically similar to Precedent Research. 
  4. PLA sectional artifact of Translation: rough dimension should be 4" x 4" x 4" or bigger.  

Links + Resources:

  1. The Evolving Chair Project (David Benjamin from The Living, Nagy, Olguin / Autodesk Research / Project Cyborg) Read the AD article from AD 230 edited by Mark Garcia (PDF Download)
  2. Grand Work of Fiction, Detail as Narrative - Article by Ed Ford in AD 230 edited by Mark Garcia (PDF Download)
  3. Works by Neri Oxman (MIT / Material Ecology), Madeline Gannon (CMU / Autodesk) and Lauren Vasey (ICD / Autodesk), Joris Laarman Lab,   
  4. Digital Grotto projects by Benjaim-Dillenburger (Link). See Video Below.
  5. Project Silkworm - Silkworm is a plugin that translates Grasshopper and Rhino geometry into GCode for 3d printing. Silkworm allows for the complete and intuitive manipulation of the printer GCode, enabling novel printed material properties to be specified by non-solid geometry and techniques of digital craft. (*See image above)

Structures from Nature / Vascular Bundles / Cell Structures

Morphology, Translation, Material Experimentation