The design of the facade prototype starts from a two-dimensional pattern, which is formed with symmetrical curves. The first try is a knot module that has six connection foots. The form might end up having many undercut surfaces because there are too many edges and seams. These undercut surfaces require a very complex mold system for casting. For the sake of casting, the second try is a smoothed knot module. The smoothed version is also not very easy to cast because it still has two undercut surfaces. The third try is redefining the form with the existing profile. The third module has four round solids that eaten out four volumes of the full rectangle module. These void volumes are created based on the axis where the round solids’ undercuts begin. These four voids create an irregular form that still has six flat surfaces. These six flat surfaces provide opportunities for the module to stack in different patterns. When stacking vertically, the facade will provide a thick wall with a large surface area. The surface texture provides water absorbing opportunities and cooling abilities. When stacking on the module’s narrow ends, the facade will allow more light to pass through. The curved surfaces can provide indirect and soft light qualities. In a larger scale, one can fabricate desire size modules at a low cost. These modules can then be designed into customized facades. The facades work both for interior panels and exterior cladding.
The facade prototype, based on singular solid-void logic, can be applied to various facade options. These pattern options can accomplish various shading needs. The facade module is tested successfully in small scale 3d printed molds and rookie casts.
Based on the four round volumes, two mold systems(Fig. 2) are created for the prototype module. The first mold system contains four pieces. Each piece has a round volume attached with a triangular base. These triangular bases can fit together into one rectangle base. The mold is 30 mm tall and 60 mm wide. The casted module is 25 mm tall and 50 mm wide. One mold system will take four hours and eight minutes to print.
The first mold results in a decent cast, however, the bottom surface picked the seams of the four triangular base mold pieces. The reason of these seams is that the Dremel 3d printer is not very accurate. The filament of the printer will drag the surface down when they get cooled. The filament characters will result in bent surfaces on printed objects’ sides. By sanding the bent edge of triangular bases, one can minimize the seams problems. However, the sanding still cannot modify the mould system into a perfect fitting condition.
The second mold system then separated the base from the four pieces. One mold will take four hours and twenty minutes to print. The new mold system contains four side pieces and one square base piece. The four pieces are 60 mm wide and 25 mm tall. The base piece is 5mm tall and 60 mm wide. The new mold system works well to minimize craft flaw. After printing, a light sanding process can modify the raw mold system into a perfect fitting mold system.
Based on achieved brick prototype, a new facade approach was challenged. The approach analyzed potential conjoining system for wall elements. With two conjoining growth methods: mirrored(+) growth and blended(X) growth, the logic of randomness was developed. Increase the growth frequency and mirror plane gross will increase the level of randomness.
A series of wall elements were tested using grasshopper based on level of surface bump randomness. The level of randomness was driven by brick frequency, mirroring method(mirrored or blended), and mirror plane rotations(x°,y°,z°). Higher level of randomness will support higher level of complexity for lighting sequence. The random surface curvature will manipulate lights into multi directional reflections.
Stepping away from a normal square dance room, the proposed dance space has a volume of long path. One side of the path is the ceiling to floor mirror, the other side of the path is the south-facing daylight wall. The daylight wall has ceiling to floor glazing with the new facade prototype. By mirroring the prototype bricks vertically, the designed shading panels achieved a continuous load path from ceiling to ground. Multiple sample panels were then repeated in tandem to get the sliding system for shading. The horizontal steel beams can serve as exercise handle bars. Inside the dance path pavilion, users can start at one side and turning to the end. The path experience will provide diffused lighting with privacy from one side, and large mirror on the other side. The multiple shading panels, located randomly, created light to dark lighting sequences. The long passageway with complex surface walls can also help with music echo performance.
The project idea starts from the banana leaf structural patterns. Based on the leaf patterns, a complex and interlocking curve is generated. The prototype A and B are formed from these curves. These prototypes are then tested with potterbot clay printer.
The type B brick has a rectangular pyramid shape, which allows multiple stacking directions. A typical type B brick is 100 mm wide and 40mm tall. Six type B bricks can form into a full 100 mm cube. The project later applied the type B bricks to sliding panels.
The facade prototype based on singular surface logic can be applied to various facade options. The complex surface bricks can fabricated with 3D Clay Printing methods. Potterbot can be used as an efficient tool to fabricate masses of complex and customized bricks of desire walls.
The 1st Print
The 2nd Print
The 3rd Prints
The 4th-7th Prints
According to some test prints, the brick was easily cracked when it is drying. A potential problem could be the inconsistent drying rate. One reason for the inconsistent drying rate could be the unequal fans, which quicken the drying but cannot provide equal air flow. Another reason is the brick is too thin and has various thickness. The thinker part dries slower than the thinner part.
According to the issues addressed above, there are multiple changes applying to type B brick. The uniform surface allows the force to distribute equally when the bricks are stacked. The connected points prevent the brick from cracking even if the brick has different thicknesses.
The type B brick printed successfully for six times and failed one time. The failure is likely caused by the inconsistent density of the clay. Some of the clay is so dense that they jammed the nozzle for a while. Several seconds later, the extruding force pushed out a large amount of clay. After the push, the tube has low pressure, so clay stopped to extrude out. There are also different levels of the flaw in these bricks. The first layer of several bricks is so thin that it cracked because of tension and friction at the bottom. There are also some flaws caused by air bubbles. To print more efficiently, one can increase the extruding speed and moving speed. For example, the first print of type A brick has an extruding speed of 110 and moving speed of 250, which took 32min to print; the 4th to 7th print of type A brick have an extruding speed of 110 and a moving speed of 250, which took 21min to print.
Based on achieved brick prototype, a new wall approach was challenged. The approach analyzed potential conjoining system for wall elements and column elements. With multiple tests of different conjoining growth methods the logic of randomness was developed. Increase the growth frequency and scaling types can increase the level of randomness.
According to the wall elements light studies, thicker wall with square volume bricks sample has the most contrasting light performance. A high level of randomness on brick surfaces will generate irregular and dynamic shadows. Bricks will absorb more than 70% of lights if the ratio of the thickness to height is larger than 1/3.
The Ceramic Yoga Pavilion aims to create an interactive and pleasant public shelter space at the East Beach, Santa Barbara. The pavilion is built with a steel frame and 3d printed ceramic bricks. At the pavilion, people can not only enjoy the beautiful sunset scenery but also come inside the yoga pods for exercise. Yoga, one of the most mind refreshing and healthy exercise, requires a pleasant and comfortable space. One often prefers more isolated and quiet space when he or she is doing long time yoga session. The conjoined yoga pod planning pushes those desires with its high level of privacy and high level of controlled atmosphere. The facade prototype from previous research were applied as wall elements. The facade wall serves as load bearing structure as well as the shading barrier. Throughout the day and the year, the facade will cast light-patterns which are continuously changing. This active lighting condition will allow users to feel the peaceful power of light and be more mentally prepared for long hour exercise. For example, while one is stretching hard, looking at the detailed surfaces and lights on facade bricks can distract their attraction away from tense muscles.
The project aims at STEM introduction products in K-12 education. The Nodes Puzzle contains metal rods and customized nodes. The series of products are kid friendly and easy to store because they are very easy to take apart or put together. Kids can have play time with the products and construct potential polyhedron network. The network can be regular polyhedron or irregular polyhedron. The nodes also have a potential connection between basic polyhedron.
A single approach for customized network nodes can be addressed. Users can change the length, size, form, and thickness of each node as well as the node’s feet separately or together. It takes 6-30 min to print each node. The printing time depends on the size, form, and printer settings. A good quality node usually takes 15 minutes. User scan polish the product within minutes to get desired smoothness or use the product as casting molds.
The Dremel 3D40 is a convenient and affordable desktop 3d printer. It requires supports for overhanging parts. There are also trade-offs among speed, quality, strength, and filament costs. Sometimes the different facing holes will impact on the accuracy of printing results because of tension and gravity.
If the node has a flat base or does not need support, it will need less printing time. The detail cannot be visible if its size is less than 200% printing layer height. For the desire of smooth finish and speed, users can print with lower resolution and sand the products into smooth finish within minutes. An increase of 0.xmm layer height or x% infill with increase the printing time by hours.
The sample product emphasizes on the fast and economic approach. The final product contains seven nodes and cost 56 minutes. The filament usage is about 0.35 cubic inch.
The research start from network lines. A simple node mesh of piped lines does not provide continuous force performance; it has sharp edges as well as intersecting parts. The ordinary way of rebuilding the node would be manually trimming the unnecessary surfaces and filleting the sharp edges. However, this approach is too time consuming and rigid; users cannot change the node after modeling.
The second method contains kangaroo mesh relaxation. This grasshopper component can help analysis surface and simulate the surface performance based on physics. The results still have a problem for this project. Firstly, the final result is flat for the node which only contains one side foot. Secondly, the feet will become thinner toward the center, which is bad for strength concern. It is also tough to keep the size and form editable.
The third method breaks down the desire into two parts; the first part is producing an editable solid node, the second part is rebuilding the nodes with subdivision concepts. The method contains the usage of the Grasshopper modeler Weaver Bird. The Weaver Bird’s Loop Smoothing component can calculate and generate subdivision mesh. The problem of this method is the subdivision process will smooth the entire node, which gives a hard time for construction purpose with metal rods. The smooth process causes the hole to lose its consistent diameter.
The fourth method breaks down the desire into four parts: produce editable nodes without holes, rebuild the nodes with subdivision concepts, produce holes, join the new nodes with holes. Users can change the length, size, form, and thickness of each node as well as the node’s feet separately or together.