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Carlin Lyon Student No: 637315 Semester 1/2013

Group 9

Analytical Drawing

To develop the base shape of my model for paneling, I revisited my analytical drawings. My first analytical drawing of the original pattern tried to capture the movement of the image, and I found it was represented by loosely curved lines. I tried to translate this drawn shape into a 3D model. I came up with the a pipe like shape, where the base was narrow, grew wider as it went higher, then eventually narrowed down to an end point. The curve itself was a simple single curve, that was more tightly curled at the top, very much like my original pattern shape.

When modelling the base shape of my lantern, I wanted to maintain the smooth curve which I had explored earlier. I also wanted to add spikes coming out from the spine of the curve, however for the moment, I wanted to keep the base shape simple. Once I had modelled a shape that I liked, and which represented what I imagined, I started thinkning about how I could translate the physical object into Rhin. We learnt in class that we coul loft a series of curves to create a smooth curve, so I drew bands accross my model. I found that drawing the bands with the curve was more effective than making all the bands parallel. I then cut up my model along the bands, and layed them out to see the varying radius sizes of the segments of my curve. This was helpful to determine what sized rings I needed to draw in Rhino, and alsoto see the degree at which I had to rotate some of the bands/curves around the top curve.

Base Model

Digitalisation I continued to develop my base curve in Rhino, as I transformed it into its digital version. I found that the pipe tool did not work very well for this shape as my curve changes direction too sharply at the top. I found however, that lofting worked really well, using ‘rings’ that I had extracted from my clay model. The image on the left was my first attempt at creating the curve, however on reflection I realised that there were too many rings, which complicated the surface. I then took out some of the redundant rings (middle), and tried to loft this.I found that the end result was a lot smoother than my first try, and also I was able to easily loft the whole structure in one go.

Patterns I wanted to incorporate spikes into my form, as it refers back to my original pattern, where scales were a recurring theme. However, I am not sure yet whether I will add on the spikes, or attempt to create them with panels. I am still experimenting.

Further Digitalisation Another method I tried, in digitising my model, in which I incorporate the spikes, was to use circles spliced with triangles (tear-shape) as the bands along the curve, which I then lofted separately at each interval. Althogh I really like the end result (left) I found that paneling it was too complicated, as it produced too many surfaces. Below are some examples of my panel attempts. As shown some were not very successful as there were many gaps in the pattern.

A Simpler Method I attempted again at trying to incorporate the spikes into the base image, without creating too many surfaces, and produced the image on the right. This was a quick and rough attempt at using a pipe, then pulling points from the spine, which stretched into spikes. The paneling was a lot more successful than I had anticipated, however it still didn’t achieve what I was hoping for, so I decided to keep exploring different options.

Final Paneling Tests I decided to go back to my first digitised model, the simple curve, and work out the paneling from there. I found that I could later ad the spikes on manually. I tried various paneling tools, using TriBasic, Brick, Triangular and Boxx. The image in the left and the middle one both use TriBasic, however I experiemented with different densities in the paneling grids. I found that the more spaced out the grid, the more defined the paneling pattern. Once I had decided I prefered fewer panels, I tried different patterns using this same panel grid. Also, as shown, some patterns were more successful than others, with brick being the least, as the paneles did not join together.

Latest Models These are a couple of examples of the more successful digitised models. I find that these are the best as they have fewer panels than most of my previous attempts, but they also incorporate the overall sharpness that I had aimed for.

Readings Thomas Heatherwick believes that although a building might have an impressive shape, surface and materiality of it may still be uniform and unexciting. His company’s underlying drive was to explore the possible textures of a building’s surface, which was implemented in the Seed Cathedral. The Seed Cathedral was designed for the UK pavilion at the Shanghai Expo 2010, which took the element of ‘seeds’ to be represented in the building’s design. Heatherwick’s aim was to present these seeds, in an interesting way, which highlighted the small seeds themselves. To do this, his company referenced ideas from living things trapped in amber, which brought attention and light to the immersed object. Trapping the seeds in long optic fibers and then extending them from the inside of the building out, Heatherwick was able to create an overall physical effect, which was unlike the character of a single fiber itself. On the inside of the building, the fiber optics drew daylight from the inside, and illuminated the ends with the seeds, which created a soft lighting effect, where the ends of the fibers were particularly bright. As the ends of the fibers were not placed in straight lines, there was a wave like effect produced by the glowing ends of the fibers.

Reading 2

The reading Lost in Parameter Space? talks about the various ways to translate and communicate an object from a physical and digital model. It also contemplates how a ‘perfect’ model doesn’t need to contain so much information and detail, rather it should hold its simplest form, where it can still describe the object “without ambiguity.” This idea really applied to me with the digitalisation task, as I began with a very complicated polysurface as my model, which held too much information so that when I attempted to panel it, the software found too many points and surfaces to base it off. I then found that by simplifying the model, while still retaining the essential properties of it, I could create a much more smooth and effective paneled surface. The reading also describes what ‘reduction’ is, explaining that it is not necessarily a reduction of information, rather finding a simpler way to ‘transport’ it. I also found that this idea helped me this week, as I attempted many ways to approach my digitisation, while maintaining my original idea of a curve with spikes down the spine. My first option had too many separate components, and so I then tried to retain this shape, while using a simple, uniform base shape.


After a discussion with my tutor, and with further exploration of Rhino paneling, I began to find different 3D paneling designs. I constructed some of my own custom 3D panels, which aimed to have a triangulated to ‘peak.’ This was to try and represent scales in an abstract way, but also I wanted to experiment with ‘throwing’ light; shards of stretched light thrown across a room. I thought that by having a peaked scale, I would be able to achieve this.

This was my first attempt at 3D paneling, where I used a panel that was folded in 4 major places. I found however, that there were no spaces for the panels to physically join together, and so i added side panels that were flat, to allow them to stick together. I tried to make the side panels small, as to not draw attention to them, however I found later on that the thin side panels were infact very difficult to make and join with other panels. However, I am happy with the overall shape of the panels, except for their orientation. My panels faced sideways along the shape, and I wasn’t sure how to change this. On reflection though, I found that this was quite interesting, as it would direct light around the width of the model rather than push it all towards the tip (as I had previously imagined).

Idea 1

Idea 4 In my second attempt, I tried to incorporate the spikes in the panels again, however this time I used 5 folds, and I tried to make it so that the panels had somewhere to physically join with eachother. When I actually paneled them together in Rhino, I found that the panels joined in a way which allowed the two side panels to create half a spike with another half-spike side panel. Although I found this really interesting, I thought that there were too many spikes so that the model looked over complex.

Idea 3 This was a third attempt, using a different style panel. I used a square base like the others, but I used it as if it were a diamond. I still however, paneled it like a square, so that the overall effect had an unusual orientation in the panels. I liked this effect as the peak of the panels seemed to point in an odd direction, yet there was a uniformity to them as they all pointed in the same direction.


Making the prototype required unrolling a section of my Rhino model. I found that with the pattern I was exploring, there were a lot of folds, so that when it was unrolled, the unrolled strip would curl around and overlap each other. Consequently, with this particular panel, I had to construct the prototype out of single panels. Here are some examples of the flattened panels. They all vary in size, as when I put them together; I want to achieve a diminishing scale along the row of panels.

Making the Prototype The outcome of my prototype was a lot different to what I had expected, as the peaks of the panels had really flat surfaces. I also added some slits in the panels to achieve the ‘light shard’ effect I wanted. Although this was different to what I had imagined, I still found that I quite liked this model. There was a severity in the the spikes that I thought made the model look quite interesting, and also when I had light from different directions streaming through the prototype, I could achieve overlapping shards of light. The process of making the prototype also made me think about how practicle the panels were in terms of being stuck together. I found that my current design had too little joining areas between the panels lengthways, which made me think about my future designs.

Module 2