Digital Manufacturing

Digital Manufacturing is the perfect example for Industry 4.0. From an optimized design to a digital manufactured product, large steps towards an automized building industry future can be realized. Optimized parametric design plays a major role to achieve this goal and can be used to optimize the efficiency of production techniques and automation of the building sequence.

Morse Code Wall

Laura Dings, Sebastiaan van Hassel and Tom Diks

For the course ‘Digital Design and Manufacturing’, the assignment was to create a structural element (e.g. a wall, column) using four different types of bricks. There were two line-like bricks: a short one and a longer one. The connection between Morse code (short dots and long stripes) was quickly made. Therefore, the idea arose to write a script, where the user could input a sentence and a robot could turn this sentence into a wall by means of Morse code. Each layer represented a word. Since not all words had an equal length in Morse code, there could be floating bricks. To solve this problem, the additional two brick types were used to fill the remaining space at the edges. One of the main problems was the stability of the wall. There were open spaces between each letter, again resulting in floating or unstable bricks. The script was thus expanded with an extensive stability check, taking also the stacking sequence into account.

A framework on how to cope with geometric uncertainties of robotic manufacturing processes of brick structures

Amy Hendriks

To enlarge the application of robots in the built environment, research is needed on ways to cope with possible insecurities which could be present during the manufacturing process such as vibrations, wind, material imperfections or fabrication inaccuracies.
These insecurities could lead to differences between the initial digital design and the constructed model made with the robot. A framework has been set up in which a digital design is made which can be built by the robot. During the construction of this design, the built structure will be measured. This measured data is translated to a digital twin of the built structure and a structural analysis will tell if there are differences between the built structure and the initial digital design of it and what the consequences of these differences are. From this analysis it can be concluded if the structure can be built further or if adjustments to the design need to be made to be able to build further without any collapses.
With accepting possible geometric insecurities of the robotic manufacturing process, analysing during construction, and adjusting the structure were needed, robotic manufacturing processes are hopefully one step closer to a larger application within the built environment.

3D printed columns

Cristina Nan

Assistant Professor Cristina N. has teamed up with Vertico to teach the seminar Concrete Futures, at the department of Architectural Design and Engineering of the University of Technology Eindhoven. Students were invited to explore algorithm-aided design and to develop parametric columns for 3D concrete printing. The designs showcase experimentation with new material expressions for concrete, slicing techniques, and algorithmic patterning strategies.               
The seminar merges computational design, digital fabrication, and an understanding of concrete’s material behavior. Unlike polymer printing, 3D concrete printing does not allow for significant overhang. However, Vertico’s proprietary technology of Accelerated Concrete Printing aims to change this. Their printhead can produce angles of up to 60 degrees overhang; bringing the sought-after design freedom of polymer printing to concrete.      
The columns were printed without formwork, at a height of 2.2m. The 3D-printed columns are hollow, thus reducing weight and material use. Employing this type of material deposition strategy allows for a more sustainable fabrication approach than traditional concrete casting.

A parametric tower

Robin van Steen and Saar Driessen

For the course ‘Digital Design and Manufacturing’, the assignment was to create a structural element (e.g. a wall, column) using two different types of beam elements. There was a shorter one and a long one. The structural element was created by Grasshopper.

The idea for this project was to build a tower in which each layer is based upon the layer underneath. For example the beams move inwards or outwards relative to the beam underneath for a few layers and then in the other direction again. After how many layers the direction switches from inwards to outwards (or the other way around) is then an input variable. The first two layers were determined as input variables.

There were three important decisions to be made for each layer; the position of the beams, the type of beam and the number of beams. All of these were based on the layer underneath and the number of layers between switches. The exact rules were made having structural principles in mind.