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Kim Nguyen


2D PANELLING Using the Panelling Tool in Rhino allows for the application of customised or preset patterns onto a surface through the use of grids which allows for faster connection of points and generally saves time. The numbered patterns shown below display the preset options (1-9: Box, BoxX, Triangular, TriBasic, Dense, Diamond, Angle Box, Wave, Brick) however I opted to create my own pattern to suit my recipe of the model. When creating custom patterns (via ptManage2DPatterns), they can be stored and edited for later use and application and are accessed in the same way as preset pattern options (via. ptPanelGrid). On the top right is the first pratice of creating a custom hexagonal pattern and while the shape is present, they did not fit together and some spaces remained where other quadrilateral shaped filled it void. To resolve the problem, the pattern needs to be shifted in the horizontal and vertical directions while in the ptManage2DPatterns command. The bottom right is the result of the applied pattern after shifting and unlike the first image, all the shapes fit together across the surface.

List of key commands: • ptGridSurfaceDomainNumber: create a grid from a surface • ptPanelGrid: Apply a custom or preset pattern to a grid • ptManage2DPatterns: Edit, Delete, or Create 2D Patterns

Patterns which are applied to grids and surfaces aren’t only limited to 2D - patterns which also have an element of height can be created and applied. The image on the left shows the customised pattern which is the same as the 2D pattern except all the vertices of the shape meet at one point in the centre of each shape. Again, shift the pattern so that it fits evenly and the pictures on the right show the result of the pattern applied to a small half sphere as well as a simple curved surface. I liked the sharp and geometric look that this pattern created, especially when applied to a curved surface but I also liked seeing the pattern’s ability to curve in different directions. Some issues with which faces of the patterns were surfaces arose, areas which I wanted to be surfaces didn’t necessarily become so and spaces which I wanted to be open were covered.


Above is the finished pattern with different variables: (L-R) • Original grid and surface without applied pattern • Applied pattern onto 40x25 grid with Offset: 2.5 • Applied pattern onto 40x25 grid with Offset: 5 • Applied pattern onto 25x25 grid with Offset: 5

Top to Bottom: • Front View • Perspective View • Back view

DIGITILIZING REAL-LIFE FORMS There were a variety of different options I had in terms of which clay model I would try and transpose onto Rhino. The images at the top represent some small prototypes and the image on the right is the design I chose to model. This will not necessarily be the design of my final produce but I mainly wanted to explore the way different curves affect the design in a digital context. I also wanted to see what kind of shapes and patterns will be present on the inside of the form as well as outside.

To make the model, contours were taken at seperate intervals which were then lofted together and merged. Scaling this to a 1:5 ratio proved to be a little larger than expected so the ratio was changed so that the clay model was roughly 1:3. The resulting digital model is shown on the right from a perspective view with the first model on the left with a greater amount of grid points than the one on the right.

READING RESPONSES TED talks - Thomas Heatherwick

• As a young child, Heatherwick was surrounded by what he described as very ‘cold’ and ‘soulless’ buildings and structure around him and so derived properties from designs from other sources to give his designs more ‘life’, such as designs from pottery and musical instruments. Because of this background, Heatherwick used life and plants as the main motif for his “Seed Cathedral”, a structure which breaks all the conventions and expectations of buildings, as it is far more organic in form, and plants, as one usually imagines trees and flowers as opposed to seeds. • Much like our lantern project, the design of the Seed Cathedral focused on elements such as texture, light and space. These elements were also not only focused on from the outside but also from the inside - Heatherwick and his team studied the different ways light would move both in and out of the structure and how the usage of optics would transport the light. Because of this, the space of the outside of the buildilng as well as the inside are both transformed into structures reflecting the life and movement of nature itself as it moves with the wind and lights up like a starry night sky.

Scheurer,F. and Stehling, H. (2011): Lost in Parameter Space? IAD: Architectural Design, Wiley, 81 (4), July, pp. 70-79

• In this writing, different terms are defined and analysed all in relation to the introduction and improvement of CAD systems. As CAD became more widely used amongst designers and architects the use of mathematics in design was largely forgotten - but now designers are reintroducing mathematics into design and looking at the way geometry affects as well as determines design. The term “abstraction” is used for the disregarding of superficial information and elements as well as the need to focus on patterns and generalities amongst structures. When this information is retained (unless deemed redundant) but only interpreted in a more efficient way, this is defined as “reduction”. • Much like the reading in Module 1 (Poling), the writers make a point that to truly understand and convey a structure requires an understanding of the very core elements and geometry of the structure itself. As well as this, sometimes structures (such as patterns) will form on their own according the their unique mathematical formula - or as well call it, a “recipe”. Above: UK Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010 ‘Seed Cathedral’, Thomas Heatherwickz


Kim Nguyen


DIGITAL MODELLING OPTION 1 The first panelling design is the applied design from the week four panelling task. The pattern is based on a six sided pyramid which meets at an elevated point which is repeated, scaled and rotated to fit the shape. Since there is no back surface, an inversed version of the pattern is displayed on the flip side of the surface.

This middle image displays two different strips which have been used for unrolling . For this model, it was easier to choose strips of the pattern which went from the top to the bottom rather than horizontally due to the complex nature of the individual geometry boundaries. These boundaries were easier to define vertically than horizontally.

This last image displays the two previous sections of the model unrolled into their respective strips. Tabs were made using grasshopper and some overlapping tabs were edited using polylines.


This is the second pattern considered for unrolling which (as seen below) consists of the same six sided hexagon but instead of meeting at a vertex, form a similar hexagon shape. This pattern, like the previous one, also has no bottom surface in the pattern so the underside of the pattern has its own shapes and forms. However, I wanted to include an element of overlap into the design to create different depths of light and while this pattern does have different heights of extrusion, there is no overlap. With this pattern it may be harder to create a light contrast.

Another problem with this pattern was the amount of space that one individual section of the pattern would take up - this meant that there had to be a large amount of grid points on the surface and if the surface is to be more complex than a curved sheet, the amount of points could prove to be unnecessarily confusing.

DIGITAL MODELLING OPTION 3 The third pattern, the one which I have decided to further explore during this project, most accurately portrays my recipe and also is able to achieve the different effects I was aiming for. As all the others, the pattern is based on a six sided geometry but this time the extruded 2D form is not tapered to reach any higher vertex and is not angled unless the surface it is applied to forces it to. The flat, unangled surfaces also means that there will be a lot of overlapping surfaces which can create differing depths of light in the lantern. This pattern is very reminiscent of my paper model from Module 1 - however this time the exact sizes and angles of each piece can be carefully calculated so the exact curve shaped can be created without spaces and gaps. I also found it very interesting how on one side, the model can appear to be totally flat and brick-like while on the other side, a completely different array of surfaces can be seen, The ability of the pattern to rotate along curvature also allows for more variety in ways the two different patterns can be exposed.

UNROLLING As shown in the picture on the left, when I took apart the first row of my model to unroll, the seperate pieces remained seperate and would not connect together as a whole strip. Even when faces were joined and the strip was one whole piece the individual unrolled pieces would never connect. This proved to be a huge setback in my work and meant that I had to spend a lot of additional time unrolling each seperate hexagon in the strip and then piece together the seperate elements to make a complete strip. As well as that, many of the faces simply would not unroll or would unroll with the face on the surface of the model itself. Regardless of the settings in the unroll command I could not join the pieces automatically so I had no choice at the moment other than cutting each piece individually.

Another unfortunate problem which was solely due to the original geometry of the pattern was that there was a huge amount of overlapping layers which would often mean that it was difficult to select faces uesd to unroll and if the faces were not selected properly, many unnecessary, extra unrolled surfaces would appear. To combat this, the surfaces which had duplicates had to be removed and the overlapping had to be achieved with the tabs on each piece. The picture above (right) shows firstly the blue strip with unrolled sections and then the purple strip with unrolled sections. The missing sixth section of the blue strip is due to one of hexagonal faces not unrolling and therefore I had to eliminate it from the group.

CARD-CUTTER AND FABLAB Before using the card cutter tool, each of the pieces had to be properly formatted and nested onto the printing area with the lines to be cut in one colour and lines to be scored in a different colour. For my pieces, black indicated a score and red indicated a cut. The next time I repeat this process, I will most likely include labels into the drawing - this first time I had underestimated the difficulty involved in joining pieces particularly because many different surfaces had the same length so it was diffiicult to be sure of which pieces connected with which sides. The paper size marked on the drawing was also incorrect as when the page loaded onto the FabLab printing system, the window area and the magenta area in my drawing were different, thus my pieces came out smaller than I had intended.

After the paper has been cut by the machine it will have this look to it: the top layer is the first strip with all the pieces cut out and the second layer is the second strip with the pieces still attached by the end scoring of the tabs. At this stage i was starting to realise the amount of unnecessary inconvenience that was added when I had decided to unroll each strip piece by piece. Glueing together each individual piece proved to be very difficult as the thick paper meant that it was not easily manipulated and often tried to spring back into its original shape. The small size of the tabs also meant that it was easy for each piece to come apart without an adequate amount of area providing resistance to the shear force pulling the paper apart. As well as that, each individual piece had to be then glued together into the strip and many pieces would collapse under their own weight. I will definitely have to reconsider many factors of this design including material and tab size.

After the first few pieces, I begun to better understand the material I was using and how to manipulate it so that it was easier to glue and connect. For example, if the score lines were not fully folded back before glueing the paper had a tendency to fall apart a lot more easily. I also began to get a better understanding of which tabs were redundant and had to be eliminated - these redundant tabs will need to be marked on the computer drawing so that time will not be wasted cutting them off manually. However the shape still could not hold together very well once different pieces began to come together and eventually tape was used to reinforce the bonds between shared surfaces. A different, lighter, material may need to be considered so that the form can support itself as well as maintain structural integrity.


After cutting out all the seperate pieces, then glueing them into their respective strips, the two strips were glued together to form the start of a sheet. Looking back at the paper form, another thing I had noticed was the additional structural stability adding more pieces had given the form. Initially, with a small amount of pieces, the form would easily fall apart but with many other pieces added to it, the individual components would help to support the others. This isn’t the say that the problem of the pieces breaking off was gone - there were still many cells which would still fall apart from the main form very easily. As well as that, the double curve was beginning to become more noticable and with that, some of the difficulties that come with using paper with such curvature. This particularly thick paper was much easier to keep flat than to curve so when the curve began to change direction, the face of the cell would twist and the naturally flat paper opposed this. Some more subtle curves have been lost because of this which makes the form lose some of its wavy effect. The bottom picture is one of a smaller set of pieces that I joined together with the same materials and shapes but the double curve is much more noticable in the smaller piece. When creating the final piece, scale of each individual cell is important as the smaller the cell, the seemingly more effective the curves will be.


Virtual Environments: Module2 2013 | Kim Nguyen 636114  

Module2 Kim Nguyen