Formation Embedded Design: A methodology for the integration of fabrication constraints into architectural design

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Conference Proceeding
acadia2011 integration THROUGH computation: Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, 2011, pp. 122 - 131
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This paper presents a methodology for the integration of fabrication constraints within the architectural design process through custom written algorithms for fabrication. The method enables the translation from three-dimensional geometry, or algorithmically produced data, into appropriately formatted machine codes for direct CNC fabrication within a single CAD modeling environment. This process is traditionally one-way with part files translated via dedicated machine programming software (CAM). By integrating the toolpath creation into the design package, with an open framework, the translation from part to machine code can be automated, parametrically driven by the generative algorithms or explicitly modeled by the user. This integrated approach opens the possibility for direct and instantaneous feedback between fabrication constraints and design intent. The potentials of the method are shown by discussing the computational workflow and process integration of a diverse set of fabrication techniques in conjunction with a KUKA 7-Axis Industrial Robot. Two-dimensional knife-cutting, large-scale additive fabrication (foam deposition), robot- mounted hot-wire cutting, and robot-assisted rod-bending are each briefly described. The productive value of this research is that it opens the possibility of a much stronger network of feedback relations between formational design processes and material and fabrication concerns.
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