Digital Fabrication in Architecture by Nick Dunn

By Nick Dunn

With the expanding sophistication of CAD and different layout software program, there's now a big selection of skill for either designing and fabricating structure and its parts. The proliferation of complex modelling software program and has enabled architects and scholars to conceive and create designs that may be very tough to do utilizing extra conventional equipment.

The use of CAD applied sciences within the construction of actual versions, prototypes and person parts is more and more common via strategies akin to CAD/CAM, CNC milling and quick prototyping. This translation of computer-generated info to actual artefact is also reversed with units akin to a digitiser, which lines the contours of actual gadgets without delay into the pc.

This booklet specializes in the inspiring chances for structure that may be completed with the entire assorted applied sciences and strategies on hand for making entire designs or their parts.

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A B A The geometrical evolution of the project from a trabeated structure, via a two-way plate and then honeycomb plate to the dragonfly composite. This development achieves an emerging structural hierarchy with localized inplane stiffness owing to the quad cells, localized flexible infill via the honeycomb cells, and the adaptive response to indeterminate force flow. B The dragonfly geometry scaled to the plan of the exhibition space. The cell size and density of the design are controlled by the boundary condition, the “veins” taking on complex shapes in relation to force flow.

In collaboration with Buro Happold, “populations” of random structural mutations were generated and fitness-tested based on the given support and loading data. These conditions were then run through a feedback loop comprising multiple generations, and the geometry evolved toward performance criteria and novel variation. Formal coherence was balanced with structural legibility in the choice of mutations. The fabrication techniques for the installation reflect the adaptive model produced during the design process.

1 Urban Beach, New York, was based on two primary elements: a cellular roof and leisure landscape. The roof design was developed via the creation of a long-span structure through the use of a nonhierarchical structural patterning of distinct but interlaced units or cells, as shown in this screenshot. Bottom right The translation and flow of data between programs is a key aspect of digital design and fabrication. This screenshot of a speculative pavilion by Daniel Richards is from Python, an open-source programming language, and facilitates an effective interface between a CAD program (3Ds Max) and analysis software (Ecotect)—and then documentation of the process with Microsoft Excel and JPEG images.

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