At their office I could see first hand the study models for some of the projects the firm has been involved, such as a mockup for their P. These small pieces had a lot to tell, not only about the specific project they were part of, but also their iterations. The book presents in a clear way with very good examples the methods behind digital fabrication: sectioning, tessellating, folding, contouring, and forming. For most of us these words are pretty much obvious and we often use them as design principles of our projects.
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Visit our website at www. Every reasonable attempt has been made to identify owners of copyright. Errors or omissions will be corrected in subsequent editions.
ISBN alk. Architectural design—Data processing. Architecture— Data processing. Computer-aided design. I93 Field-specific information and digital techniques are presented in a user-friendly manner along with basic principles of design and construction. The series familiarizes readers with the concepts and technical terms necessary to successfully translate ideas into built form.
They are an indispensable communication and design device. They have also contributed to a prominent digital fabrication method. With computer modeling, deriving sections is no longer a necessarily two-dimensional drawing exercise. In fact, it is no longer an exercise in projection at all but a process of taking cuts through a formed three-dimensional object. As architects increasingly design with complex geometries, using sectioning as a method of taking numerous cross sections through a form has proven time and again an effective and compelling technique.
As in conventional construction processes, information is translated from one format to another to communicate with the builder—only in this case the builder is a machine. Rather than construct the surface itself, sectioning uses a series of profiles, the edges of which follow lines of surface geometry. This effectively streamlines the process of making serialized, parallel sections.
Architects have experimented with sectional assemblies as a way to produce both surface and structure. While it is distinctly within the domain of digital techniques, sectioning has a long history in the construction industry. It is commonly used in airplane and shipbuilding to make the doubly curving surfaces associated with their respective built forms. Objects such as airplane bodies and boat hulls are first defined sectionally as a series of structural ribs, then clad with a surface material.
Lofting—the method that determines the shape of the cladding or surface panels by building between curved cross-sectional profiles—is analogous to lofting in digital software. Lofted surfaces can be unrolled into flat pieces or else geometrically redescribed in section as curves along the surface. The roof of the chapel at Ronchamp, for example— likened to an airplane wing by the architect—is designed and built as a series of structural concrete ribs, tied together laterally by crossbeams.
A paper model of the roof clearly shows the intentions for the internal construction. The advantages of using this type of hollow construction are clear: it is a lightweight structure that provides accurate edge profiles for a nonuniform shape on which to align and support surface material, in this case thin shells of concrete.
Indeed he has become a poster child of sorts for protoblob architecture. Study sketches of the curved wall and ceiling reveal sectional ribs that are aestheticized to resemble an airplane or other machined framework. What is similar about these projects is their employment of sectioning for constructional and geometric purposes in the making of curved forms. Photo: L. Scaled model showing ribbed roof structure. Final installation showing lights behind Mylar panels. Rendering of sectional ribs.
Greg Lynn was one of the first to experiment with digitally generated sectional construction as part of a highly influential design methodology. In his book Animate Form, Lynn formulates an architectural approach out of the emergence of dynamic forces, flows, and organizations. For instance, the most obvious aesthetic consequence is the shift from volumes defined by Cartesian coordinates to topological surfaces defined by U and V vector coordinates. Animate Form catalogs the projects Lynn uses as examples of animate architecture.
Four of these projects were featured, with evocatively glowing stereolithography models, in a solo exhibition at Artists Space, in New York, in Yet it was the very construction of the exhibition that is in the domain of digital fabrication. Lynn designed the installation to push his process toward full-scale construction.
Whereas he derived the design itself from a dynamic process of nodal interaction, he relied on simple planar material for its construction. Initially the form was curvilinear, made of parallel sectioned ribs cut from a plastic sheet using two-dimensional computer plots as full-scale cutting templates.
The ribs were faced with triangulated Mylar panels to make a continuous volume. Both the translation of the original volume into a sectioned grid and the approximation of the originally smooth shell as a tessellated surface resulted from the mandates of full-scale construction.
Yet rather than produce a partial representation of what should have been a curvilinear form, the constructional imperatives created an articulated system for display. William Massie, another pioneer in digital construction, designed a series of installations based on sectioning. Detail of steel rib. Plot files of cross sections used for construction layout. Photo: SHoP Architects system into laser-cut steel fins threaded with exposed PVC tubing, creating the effect of diaphanous surfaces of flowing plastic hair that create shade and accommodate program.
The sensuous lines are a constructive solution that cumulatively define the larger surfaces and representationally echo the digital method that made them. That is, the lines define the physical surface in the same way that embedded surface curves, or isoparms, make up a digitally ruled, or lofted, one.
Standard materials typically come as sheets, so that three-dimensional buildings are made from two-dimensional materials. In the case of sectioning, the constructional techniques that have emerged include sectional ribbing as in the projects already described , lamination or parallel stacking, and waffle-grid construction.
In the case of parallel stacking, the frequency of the sections required to approximate the increasingly varied surface geometries increases, sometimes resulting in a visual intensification of material. By using edge profiles to describe surface through implied visual continuities, architects have taken advantage of sectioning—both to merge and to perceptually elevate the relationship of form with material tectonic.
Designed and built by by SHoP Architects, Dunescape is an architecturalized landscape built completely as a series of parallel, stacked dimensional lumber. While manual labor was required to cut, assemble, and fasten the pieces in the actual construction, the methodology was completely digitally driven.
First, the digital model was sectioned at intervals that were established by the given material thickness. The resulting section drawings were then plotted at full scale and used as templates on which to lay out and position each wood piece. The substantial rhetoric that has surrounded digital fabrication toward the streamlining of clockwise from top left: SHoP Architects, Dunescape, Laser-cut model.
Grid-shell lamella structure. Photo: Pietro Russo construction practice is certainly warranted. Computerized two-and-a-half- and three-axis cutting tools—such as laser cutters, CNC routers, water-jet and plasma cutters—all work from the same polylines to cut two-dimensional materials. While the scale and thickness and size of material may change, the files used to communicate with the various pieces of equipment work off the same set of profiles.
Early adopters made a conceptual leap to bridge digital and physical model making with full-scale construction. The leap has yielded a wealth of compelling and sophisticated architectural explorations that have advanced forms of threedimensional representation and building.
Laser cutters in particular have facilitated the conceptual and practical move from making models to executing full-scale construction. Most laser cutters are small; most typically work with model-making materials such as chipboard, acrylic, and cardboard; and most are easy to use with familiar software such as AutoCAD and Adobe Illustrator. Initially laser cutters were employed by architects for precision model making, as for engraved building facades, structural members, and building details.
Later coupling these machines with the digital-design software that fostered nonstandard form making and came equipped with commands to redescribe those precision forms through serial sections, designers were soon able to envision how sectioning, as a representational method, could become a building technique.
Conceived as an inflected landscape, the project was made by taking the perpendicular intersection of two sets of parallel sections through the whole digital model.
The planes meet at corresponding notches, resulting in a gridded, wafflelike framework. Waffle construction is by no means new: such common items as old-fashioned metal ice trays and fluorescent-light baffles have used intersecting grids for years. Though not ultimately built, this project nevertheless provides insight into how the technique could be used for construction as well.
Sectioning The technique is well suited to the programs of shelving and storage and to using readily available sheet materials. Other such projects by other firms have followed, making waffle construction somewhat ubiquitous in the lexicon of digital fabrication, yet it retains its power as a supple technique because of its inherent ability to be adapted and modulated for a multiplicity of forms.
Likewise, as a constructional system, it can accommodate projects of multiple scales and work with a range of building materials. The waffle grid is revisioned as a nonstandard lamella truss.
The large single-span, low-vaulted enclosure was made by connecting small interdependent pieces with a mortise-and-tenon connection in an overlapping skewed grid pattern. Each of the timber pieces had a unique profile, mapped from thirty-six control points that were derived using a computer script. These rib geometries were sent digitally to the timber fabricators, who cut each piece using a five-axis CNC mill.
Unlike more typical waffle construction, which relies on continuous ribs, this structure is based on an aggregation of mutually dependent pieces.
Each piece can be lifted and placed by one or two people, which substantially simplifies the construction process. Another good example of a modified waffle is [c]space, the competition-winning pavilion designed and built for the Architectural Association by Alan Dempsey and Alvin Huang.
Diagonal sectioning simply involves a rotation of the cutting plane nonorthogonally to either the longitudinal or transverse building geometry. In this case, the sections are taken tangentially to the oblong center ring of the nestlike form, creating an overlapping pattern that becomes the primary truss structure. Additional lines are similarly geometrically derived from sections through the overall form and become secondary structure and circulation.
The building scale demands that each member is not a single material but built up into large box beams whose construction relies on digital data to define the geometries and which are manually assembled by a large labor force.
This reduces the assembly process to a more accessible process of simple fitting together, much like a jigsaw puzzle with pre-labeled pieces. This system maintains the structural integrity of the diaphragm while breaking each rib into smaller segments for easier handling. All pages:.
Digital Fabrications: Architectural and Material Techniques / Lisa Iwamoto
Samujind Each type of digital fabrication -sectioning, tessellating see the example on the cover of the book: In fact, students projects are also featured in the book. Many of the technlques are detailed and made comprehensible with graphics and pictures making it a great inspiration for other architects as well as for students. It is now possible to transfer designs made on a computer to computer-controlled machinery that creates actual building components. Written by an expert who is djgital a successful practitioner Lisa Iwamoto, a leader in the field of digital fabrications, is associate professor of architecture at UC Berkeley and a principal of IwamotoScott ArchitectureDigital Fabrications is pleasantly approachable.
Digital Fabrications: Architectural and Material Techniques
Visit our website at www. Every reasonable attempt has been made to identify owners of copyright. Errors or omissions will be corrected in subsequent editions. ISBN alk. Architectural design—Data processing. Architecture— Data processing. Computer-aided design.