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Digital Design - Module 02 Semester 1, 2018 Robyn Mackenzie 914559 Dan Parker + Studio 06

Week Three

Reading: Kolerevic B. 2003. Architecture in the Digital Age

Kolerevic described three fundamental type of fabrication techniques in the reading. Outline the three techniques and discuss the potential of Computer Numeric Controlled fabrication with parametric modelling. (150 words max)

The first fabrication technique is two-dimensional fabrication which is widely used and involves using a cutting tool, like a laser cutter, to produce clean, accurate cuts. The second technique is subtractive fabrication which comprises of removing a specific volume from a material in the x, y, and z direction -- which can be done chemically, mechanically, or electrically. The third technique is additive fabrication which involves forming a structure on a layer by layer basis – commonly though the use of a 3D printer. Additive fabrication constructs an object by slicing the digital model into 2d layers and “printing” it up layer by layer. CNC is a “file to factory” approach which gives architects more creativity to model and manipulate NURB surfaces, resulting in expressive parametric modelling. CNC enables the fusion of both the structure and skin of a building which allows more avant-garde building forms and more architectural freedom. CNC fabrication also allows architects to produce numerous iterations of parametric modelling in a short sequence of time which increases overall efficiency and creativity of design.


Week Three

Surface Creation

Above: Surface script in grasshopper

Above: Four surface iterations, top left are my final surfaces

Creating the surface grasshopper script involved a lot of organization to keep track of the two lofts and four lines dividing up the 150x150 cube. The grasshopper script allowed me to produce several variations of my surfaces in a short amount of time – increasing my productivity and creativity. When iterating my surfaces, I wanted to create a relationship between my two lofts to create unity throughout my whole design. I wanted the two surfaces to be similar but not identical to mimic the concept of oceanic motion prevalent throughout my design. My final surfaces are similar and follow the same motion, however, one is much more extreme and expressive than the other .


Week Four Panels & Waffle

For the paneling I wanted to continue the oceanic theme and envisioned the flashing of fish scales in the water. I mimicked this concept through geometric cutouts on my 2D panels which point in the same direction as my 3D panels. My 3D panels allude to the gills of a fish with extruded flaps engaging with the cutouts of the 2D panels.


My waffle structure can be viewed a the skeleton of the fish as its structural form wrap around the inside of the paneling. I wanted my structure to be more open towards one end to let in light and create interest. I also wanted to experiment with the idea of an overhang -- evident in the left side of my waffle structure.

Week Four

Laser Cutting

To create my laser cutting file I first cleaned up and labeled my line work in my original Rhino file before transferring it to the laser cutting template. Once in the template, I moved my line work to either the cut layer (black) or the etch layer (red). For my paneling, I made sure to etch one of the edges so that the FabLab would not have to tape by model and risk damaging it.

Waffle structure element

Cut line to make folded design

A constraint of laser cutting is that I chose not to etch the interior fold lines of my paneled forms in order to ensure that the forms could be flipped if necessary. Overall I learnt how to better organize my line work and make my lines clean, labeled, and accurate in order to ensure that my laser cut file was successful.

Label to help me assemble my model

An unrolled 3D panel


An unrolled 2D panel

Week Five

Above: Boolean script in grasshopper

Above: Boolean iterations in Rhino, bottom right is my final model

When creating my grasshopper script I first used a spherical form to create several variations of booleaned geometry. I then experimented with the weaverbird attachment to try more complex geometry. I used the mesh prism canister to create square forms that extruded down to a point within the 150x150 box. However, the square geometry was unable to get large enough to create more interesting shapes without completely overlapping and losing the depth. I then decided to experiment with tessellated triangular forms utilizing the same command which can be seen in my final model. I tried four different size variations to bring out the most complex internal geometry.


Week Five


My isometric section is based on the concept of a crystal -with a simple exterior and complex interior. I experimented with different locations for my attractor point and found that when it is located inside the 150x150 box it created intensely complicated internal geometry. This discovery reinforced my original concept of a crystal like element. The use of triangles allows for some interesting window cutouts which let in light without making the interior spaces seem overly linear. The spacial qualities of my model are simultaneously open yet claustrophobic. The shard like elements protrude inwards create a sense of invasion of space. In addition, the protruding elements allow a visitor to feel like the structure is pointing to them -- creating a highly personalized experiment with the space. Spaces within the interior are not just sharp and chaotic, there are also moments of calm with smooth forms and pockets of light. The overall structure presents as a cave like space with crystals protruding inwards. The porosity is best visible in the pockets of light seen where the triangular geometry punctures the cubed form. The permeability of the structure is a juxtaposition from the cubed external element to the shard like internal element.


Week Six Task 01

Task 01 Matrix My final lofts follow the same forms except one is more extreme than the other. When experimenting with 2D vs 3D panels I wanted the two surfaces to work together but slightly juxtaposed -- following the same concept seen in my lofts. I chose to flip the directions of panels on each surface so one has upwards movement and the other downwards. My paneling explores oceanic themes with scales, fins, and gills.


Week Six Task 02

Task 02 Matrix When iterating I first developed my attractor point location and decided to make my overall concept inward focused by placing the point inside the 150x150 cube. I then experimented with different shapes and tried spheres, rectangles, and triangles. One main factor in choosing a shape was how increasing the size would affect the volume as I wanted relatively large shapes inside the cube.


Week Six

Final Isometric Views




Left: Making the waffle contours in Grasshopper

Above: Grasshopper script for making the boolean cubed grid

Above: Grasshopper script for making the 2D and 3D panels for surface A



Rhino Modeling

Diagonal: Spherical geometry in Rhino

Left: the process of Boolean differencing a few spherical geometries

Above: Sketching options of paneling for part 1

Above: Testing some paneling




Diagonal: Sketchbook key to help me assemble my panels

Left: Extracting my geometry from my laser cutting

Above: Organizing my geometry into piles before assembling

Above: Finished paneled surface before I stick it to my waffle structure


914559 mackenzie m2 journal  
914559 mackenzie m2 journal