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Module Three: Fabrication Tiffany Goh | 639188

Ideation and Design - Overview In module one we explored the use and application of patterns, with particular focus on emerging forms.

Front view

To this, I chose to study the pattern of the mushroom gill, of which the wave-like lines of each cell intrigued me.

I extracted a single shape from the pattern, and used this to form the shape of my lantern

Top View

Final digitised Model Other ideas

Unrolling Method 1

Page 1 Area used: app. 3179 cm square Are wasted: app. 221 cm square

Page 2 Area used: app. 4253 cm square Area wasted: app.647 cm square

Page 3 Area used: app. 4652 cm square Area wasted: app. 348 cm square

In the first time unrolling, I decided to first separate a seam down the length of the model to serve as a 'zipper' later on. The rest of the unrolled strips would connect to this 'zipper'. This serves as a 'spine' for the model to be constructed around. There were tabs of 0.5 cm width on both sides of one unrolled strip. I used grasshopper's tabbing and dashed features to create the tabs and the dashed lines for folding. As the model had several faces and directions of folding, I figured that all fold lines should be dashed. Using grasshopper eased the need to individually select lines to dash.


Prototype 1 For the first prototype, I used the standard 250 gsm ivory card from FabLab with the card-cutter machine for precision and speed. I intended to determine the impact of material use on the lighting effect and the ease of assembling the model. (1 : 1 ratio) I found that the unrolling method I had used was far too confusing, as there were too many segments involved. I ended up losing a few strips, and was unable to build a full scale prototype as I had intended. There were triangular holes in this model which I felt were unnecessary and difficult to work with. The weight of the paper, however, was ideal for withholding the shape. Superglue was ideal as it stuck and dried quickly. I had previously tried craft glue, which proved to be too messy. Amongst other glues were Bostik and stick glue. Both unsuccessful.

The lighting effects tested were ideal; the placement of the triangles on a curved surface created an overlay effect that added to the intricacy of the shadow cast. The light also filtered through the white paper with a pleasant glow * used fairy lights for a warm atmosphere and for their convenience.

Sharp blade cutter to cut at the seams that attached the segments to the paper.

Design Adjustments and Unrolling again Method 2

Page 1 Area used: app. 76 cm square Area wasted: 5324 cm square

Page 2 Area used: app. 20 cm square Area wasted: 5380 cm square

With the previous unrolling method being far too complicated to put together, I decided to close up the open triangles on my model, and then unroll the segments out strip by strip along the length of the model. This minimised the number of strips produced and hence made it less confusing. Before unrolling, I grouped each strip and colour coded them for easy identification. Dashed lines were traded for seams to avoid emittance of light through them. I also decided to try tabbing on one side only; each segment was to be connected by a tab on the face of the next segment. Perhaps this tabbing method would make it less messy? Colour coded strips along the length

Page 3 Area used :17 cm square Area wasted: 5383 cm square

Prototype 2 I wanted to test out the black card on the card-cutter and used one of the two types available: the 200gsm (1 : 1 ratio) Unfortunately, the 200 gsm black card proved to be far too thin. The card-cutter ripped through the page on the first try. It became obvious that I had to add a large number of seams to the edges in order for the paper to stay in place. When gluing the segments together, I realised that tabbing on only one side actually made it far messier than tabbing on both sides and letting the tab extrude inwards. In addition, the super-glue did not seem to stick properly on the thinner paper. I attribute this to the fact that it was more porous, letting the glue seep through before it can stick. As a result, I had to use craft glue, which resulted in an unsightly and messy prototype. Once again, I was unable to build a full-scale prototype due to the problems at hand. Black paper, being more opaque, allowed clean cuts of light to shine through. No light filtered through the paper. However, the same 'overlaying' effect was achieved as with prototype 1.

The dried glue was much too obvious on the black paper

Various 2D views of the final model design Front



Right Side

Method of holding

The lantern 'arms' act as sleeves for the hands and forearms

Final Unrolling + Fabrication

Nothing much was changed for the final model except for added tabs on both sides of each strip. This method seemed the least messy when it came to gluing.

Fabrication of Final Very frustrating. Everything fell apart the moment I glued it together. The card-cutter did not cut some areas out. The curvature went awry.

Tabs pulled apart immediately. When it came to Due to time restraints I had to resort to using a stapler.

Ended up having to assemble it flatly first


Exploded Isometric View (segment)

North-West isometric view Strip 1 Strip 2

Process 1) At this point, I had already grouped segments of the model into strips for unrolling. It was just a matter of rotating it into an isometric view and separating some segments out to demonstrate how the model assembles. 2) After rotation, I selected strip one and simply dragged above the model. This was followed by the same process with strip two. It is evident that each strip is very similar in shape, and assembling the lantern would only involve joining each segment together at the appropriate ends (marked on the drawing) 3) There were two individual triangles that were separate from the strips, and I dragged these out to demonstrate their placement on the model.

Individual triangle at Strip 15

Individual triangle at Strip 10

Readings Architecture in the Digital Age - Design and Manufacturing Digital Fabrication Processes: Two dimensional fabrication is a fabrication process which merely involves cutting (CNC cutting), involving two axis of motion for the cutters. These cutters can involve laser beams, water jets and plasma arcs. Laser cutters can precisely cut light-absorption material up to 5/8 inches costeffectively, whereas a water jet can cut much thicker materials. ● Subtractive fabrication involves the removal of a specified volume of material from an object. This usually utilises 3 axis: the X, Y and Z axis. It mills in these directions. ● Additive Fabrication functions by adding layers of material on top of each other; also known as layered manufacturing, solid freeform fabrication, rapid prototyping or desktop manufacturing. The digital model is sliced into 2D layers before fabrication ● Formative fabrication involves the use of heat and steam; applied to materials so that it can mould the desired shape via deformation. ●

The use of the CNC card cutter has brought about several pros and cons. On the positive side, it greatly minimises the time needed to cut the shape of the unrolled model out, as opposed to the time that would have been needed with manual cutting. It also provided clean, precisely cut lines which would not have been achievable with manual cutting. However, the cardcutter tends to malfunction, and may fail to cut some segments specified. It also has a tendency to tear or catch in cuts already made in the paper. This wastes a good amount of time and material. ●

Digital fabrications: architectural and material techniques The transition of 2D drawing to 3D digital drawing and fabrication put forward changes to innovation and expanded the boundaries of architectural form and construction. CAD programs were replaced with 3D modelling programs, and so the evolution of building designs began to occur over a relatively short period of time. Design projects such as William Massie's concrete formwork, Greg Lynn's typologies, and Bernard Cache's surface manipulations, demonstrated the capabilities of digital fabrication for architects to control the building process as well as aesthetic aspects. Tessellation has been utilised for many generations. The patterns were used to filter light and define shapes, such as in mosaics and the stained glass windows of gothic cathedrals. Digital fabrication offered more variety and modulation for tessellation. Working digitally allowed a means to transition easily from 3D models to 2D vector line files, to manufacturing methods. This significantly reduced the labour processes needed due to the repetition involved in tessellation. It has become the result of using industrialised products e.g. tiles and bricks. Usually, in 3D modelling, a digital surface is first modelled, and the tessellation is applied to it. ●

The fabrication process of my lantern is mainly based on tessellation. The ability of the triangle to tessellate made it ideal as the pattern for the model as it would produce no holes. I made a pattern out of triangles, which 'triangulates' the model when applied to it. This made unrolling easier as each strip could easily be defined.

module 3  

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