AA Summer DLAB 2017
24 July – 11 August 2017
Summer DLAB 2017 explores the themes of generative design, material computation, and large-scale fabrication and assembly technologies. Our task has been the design and production of a 1:1 scale structure in the outdoor area of AA London. This task was investigated by focusing on a combination of structural, morphological, and contextual factors which our design intervention was expected to respond in order to differentiate its material and geometrical organisation.
The digital era in architecture has witnessed the production of a vast array of geometrical assemblies through computational form-finding methods in previous decades. With the developments in digital fabrication, the production and assembly of complex forms has been compromised by the constraints of selected fabrication techniques. In recent years, robotics implemented in architecture have begun to incorporate digital and physical paradigms in an unparalleled way due to the multi-axis freedom of an industrial robot arm, its speed, precision, and low tolerances (Menges, 2013). This development in turn has fuelled the revival of complexity found in volumetric assemblies, moving away from previous standardized / sheet-material component fabrication (McGee et. al., 2013).
Incremental sheet forming is a traditional sheet forming technique whereby a sheet is formed into its final shape through a series of incremental deformations. The forming tool can be attached to a CNC machine or a robotic arm, eliminating the requirement for a die as in traditional sheet forming. Robotic incremental sheet forming opens up new opportunities in the design and fabrication of component-based aggregations that can be facilitated for cladding purposes or spatial enclosures. The versatility, multi-axis freedom, precision, and adaptable programmability of a generic robotic arm introduces new approaches and techniques to the incremental sheet forming process (Kalo, A., Newsum, M.J., 2014). By the careful correlation of form-finding techniques and various analysis methods, structural, environmental, and other critical performative properties can be articulated via robotic incremental sheet forming.