AA Summer DLAB 2018

23 July – 10 August 2018

London, UK

The research presented focuses on the geometrical, structural and material properties within the agency of robotic sheet metal expansion. In engineering, there is a need for light materials able to withstand different load conditions. Expanded metal sheets have been employed in the construction industry mainly as furniture, safety fences and sidewalks among other uses. The structural behavior of expanded metal sheets has the potential to yield architecturally interesting and materially efficient assemblies. The research agenda aims to link the notions of complexity and simplicity throughout the design and fabrication processes. While complexity is generated throughout computational form-finding and analysis techniques, simplicity lies in how architectural information relating to geometry, analysis, and fabrication can be seamlessly transferred between various digital and physical platforms.

Computational form-finding workflow concentrates on the integration of component behavior with the structural performance of the global configuration. A custom-built script in Grasshopper initially evaluates global geometry options via Finitie Element Analysis (FEA) with the Grasshopper add-on Karamba.

The compressive stress values obtained through FEA are then implemented for an unequal mesh triangulation of the global form, simultaneously establishing planarization of the panels. This mesh is further optimized in order to estimate equilateral triangulation. Finally, within each triangular face of the mesh, hexagonal panels are generated for further openings. The computational setup is then applied on a range of panels with varying size and forms with a robotic framework that comprises a 6-axis robot (KUKA KR 60), a custom pushing tool as an end effector, and a custom jig for securing the panels. Initial experimentation conducted on the local scale sets the amount of metal expansion required for each panel. This information is employed to generate the robotic tool path for pushing distance and direction is generated. Data on assembly sequence and panel connection detailing is generated within the custom-built script, aiding in the fabrication and assembly processes. The incorporation of robotic sheet expansion constraints as a driver starting from the initial stages of design development has contributed to a strong correlation between design and fabrication phases, moving away from a direct design-to-production approach.

Programme Heads: Elif Erdine
Visiting School Director: Christopher Pierce
Tutors: Elif Erdine,  Giulio Gianni, Angel Lara Moreira, Alvaro Lopez Rodriguez, Alican Sungur, Yutao Song.

Students: Laura de la Torre, Montei di Matteo, Bryan Edward, Angelina Garipova, Vanda Hajizadeh, Jill Hartley Yokota, Ahmed Hassan, Hsin-Ying Huang, Harun Ishak, Maciej Kanarkowski, Kseniia Kondratovich, Roberto Marin, Sahil Mohan, Elena Nuñez Segura, Rajiv Parekh, In Pun, Francesca Savanco, Hugh Taylor, Ziqing Xu, Fan Yang, Masashi Yaushira.