2017 Syllabus > 3d Printing & Additive Manufacturing in Architecture

SYLLABUS --- ARCHT-570/670
Instructor: Jason Kelly Johnson (jjohnson2@cca.edu) 
Mondays 12:00PM - 2:50PM
SF Main Campus, Room S1 Digital Craft Lab

3d Printing and Additive Manufacturing in Architecture >>> 2017 Syllabus PDF Download

CCA Archt 570670 2017.PNG

“The joint, that is the fertile detail, is the place where both the construction and the construing of architecture takes place.”  - Marco Frascari, “The Tell-the-Tale Detail”

“Workmanship engaged us with both functional and aesthetic qualities. It conveys a specific relation between form and content, such that the form realizes the content, in a manner that is enriched by the idiosyncrasies of the medium.” – Malcolm McCullough, “Abstracting Craft: The Practiced Digital Hand”

“I think the combination of robotic construction and 3D printing is the future of the building industry. It gives the architect more freedom to invent. The ideas that right now are killed, by the argument that it costs too much or it takes too long, will be not killed anymore.” –Architect Wolf Prix, Coop Himmelb(l)au

The seminar will explore the theoretical and technical implications of 3d Printing and Additive Manufacturing in the world of architecture, design and digital craft. Special emphasis will be placed on exploring speculative techniques related to design and computation, emerging computer-aided-manufacturing techniques and material explorations. In 2017 we will explore a variety of applications and scales with an emphasis on exploring parametric modular assemblies for the production of parametric screens and walls assemblies, with potential forays into arches and domes. 

We will explore the intersections of 3d printing technologies with traditional and contemporary modeling and fabrication techniques including but not limited to:

  • Tiles: Methods for creating geometric tiling, tessellation and other subdivision patterns in 2D and 3D.
  • Bricks: Procedures for stacking and interlocking variable modular spatial units.
  •  Cells: Alternative methods to create cellular aggregations through packing, swarms, and other generative techniques to create maximal optical or material effects.
  • Optimization: processes for structural force-flow optimization; efficient material, fabrication and human and/or machine assembly methodologies

As a beginning point we will explore case studies from the natural world including constructions created by animals and insects, and also naturally occurring examples occurring in the physical world like crystals, bubbles and sand dunes. We will ultimately seek to transform their underlying parameters – both software and hardware – to create new spatial and material assemblies.  

What are the new possibilities opened up by 3d printing? How will these technologies change how we think, theorize and make architecture in the future? What are the aesthetic, social, cultural, ecological implications? What is the future of the architectural detail in the age of 3d printing and additive manufacturing? 

The seminar will be organized into three distinct phases:

Phase 01: Research (3 wks) 
- learn to use a range of 3d printing software, machines, processes
- explore a range of case studies and format research into pamphlet form
- execute simple 3d printed details in multiple materials

Phase 02: Experimentation (3 wks) 
- explore work flows to create cellular construction
- invent and iterate through multiple design possibilities
- establish research agenda to structure Synthesis phase  
- execute multiple 3d printed details in multiple materials using generative techniques

Phase 03: Synthesis (6+ wks) 
- work with a partner to develop an ambitious final project that deepens and expands Phase 1+2 research and experimentation. 
- execute 3d printed artifacts and drawings for final seminar exhibition. Each group will be responsible for printing a ~4’ x 6’ final artifact. The size, material, and orientation of the frame will be consistent across groups. 
- complete drawings and text illustrating the process and concept, format into pamphlet


Focus: Algorithmic and Generative Architectures, Minimal Surface structures, Radiolaria, Growth patterns in organic lifeforms, Aggregate forms, Gradients, Experimental Design Interfaces, Lattice Structures, more

Makerbot Desktop: http://www.makerbot.com/desktop
Replicator G Open Source: http://replicat.org/
Grasshopper3d + Grasshopper Primer: http://grasshopperprimer.com/en/index.html
Project Silkworm for Grasshopper: http://projectsilkworm.com/
Paneling Tools for Grasshopper: http://www.grasshopper3d.com/group/panelingtools



Machine Processes, Open Source Machines, Hacking, Deposition, more

Flashforge Creator Pro 3d Printers: http://www.flashforge-usa.com/creator-pro/
(You will have access to these 3d printers in the Digital Craft Lab)
                           See of shared Wiki: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QyVrPs7Zzi1IckhOXC62KHLHmag4AneNtmri7MPXvrE
Makerbot Replicator Mini: http://www.makerbot.com/
(You will have access to these printers in the Digital Craft Lab)

Linear Ram Extruder: http://www.deltabots.com/products/3d-clay-extruder
(You will have access to this clay extruder to be used in conjunction with DCL Gantry)

Rapid Prototyping Studio 3d Printing Resources:
(You can submit file to be printed on CCA’s ZCorp and Objet 3d Printers)



Focus: Material Science, Phase Transitions, transformations, multi-materiality opportunities, Scale, Strength to Weight, Sustainability, Fiber, more

Plastics, Polymers, Clay, Concrete, Metal, Wood, Glass, Carbon Fiber


Misc Resources

Focus: New Business Models, File Sharing, Intellectual Property, Mass Customization, more

3d Object Repository: http://www.thingiverse.com/
Commercial 3d Printing – fast and cheap: http://www.shapeways.com/
Commercial 3d Printing – fast and cheap: https://www.ponoko.com/


Grading and Attendance:

You will primarily be graded on the level and quality of your participation in studio activities including discussions, workshops and field trips. You will be asked to complete weekly assignments and participate in all informal pinups and formal reviews. The assessment of letter grades will be calculated as follows:

(25%) Class Discussions, Participation, Attitude
(25%) Midterm Progress
(50%) Final Project and Presentation; final documentation submission

Definition of Grades: A = outstanding achievement—significantly exceed standards; B = commendable achievement—exceeds standards; C+ = minimum acceptable achievement—meets standards; C or D = below standards; F = failing

Strict Attendance Policy: All scheduled class meetings are mandatory. If you miss more than two seminar sessions you will be given the letter grade F without exception. Nevertheless, if you are going to be late, or need to miss a session due to illness or misfortune, simply contact me!