Robotically fabricated thin-shell vaulting: A method for the integration of multi-axis fabrication processes with algorithmic form-finding techniques

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Integration Through Computation - Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, ACADIA 2011, 2011, pp. 114 - 121
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This paper proposes and describes a new methodology for the design, fabrication, and construction of unreinforced thin-shell stone vaulting through the use of algorithmic form-finding techniques and multi-axis robotic water jet cutting. The techniques build upon traditional thin-shell masonry vaulting tectonics to produce a masonry system capable of self-support during construction. The proposed methodology expands the application of thin-shell vaulting to irregular forms, has the potential to reduce the labor cost of vault construction, and opens the possibility of response to external factors such as siting constraints and environmental criteria. The intent of the research is to reignite and reanimate unreinforced compressive masonr y vaulting as a contemporary building practice.
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