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Digital Design - Module 02 Semester 1, 2018 Weng Ian Ng Vivian (917838) Joel Collins - Studio 19

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)
















CNC, aka. computer numeric controlled fabrication, is the most commonly used fabrication technique. It is automatic and involves various cutting methods controlled by computers. Laser cutting is a method that uses a high-intensity focused beam and gas to melts down materials, and so to cut them. This only works for materials that can absorb light energy. 3D printing works by separating an object into individual layers, and transferring the information of each layer to the manufacturing machine. It will then build the object by adding materials layer by layer. Computer numeric controlled fabrication allows the architects to create architecture with complicated structure, shapes and lines. Data can be translated accurately from designing to fabricating. This fabrication method removes the limitation between what the architect can create and what the architect wants to create.


Week Three

Surface Creation

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Fig. 2

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Fig. 4

All surfaces are created from a 150 x 150 x 150 box. To get the surfaces, one of the ways is to draw a line from a point on one of the edges and link it to another. By using different edges and points on these edges, various surfaces can be fabricated. In the 4 surfaces above, I have tried to examine four different combinations of surfaces, such as one that has a big opening (fig. 2) and the combination of a ratively flat surface and a twisted surface (fig. 4). In this module, I have made use of the first surface iteration, as I want to create a model with symmetrical surfaces.


Week Four Panels & Waffle

In the structure, I examined the idea of symmetry. So for the panels, I explored the ideas of non-identicality and opposition by using two very different kinds of panels. One of which is in a 3D prismatic shape, while other is a 2D surface with circular and elliptical openings. These two panels create strong contrast to each other in terms of dimension and shape.


With correspondence to the surface iterations I have chosen, this waffle structure is created. The interesting part in the desgin of this structure is that the top part of the structure is a rectangle, which implies that the top edges of the surfaces are parallel to each other. As shown in the isometric view of the structure here, the front part of the structure gradually gets wider. Thus, the bottom part of it is not parallel anymore but symmtrical, creating the shape of a trapezium.

Week Four

Laser Cutting

In my previous model that I made as a test, I learnt that if two surfaces are too close to each other, it is necessary to make adjustment to the structure because there might be overlapped lines. In this case, the model will then be unable to be built. While in this model that I have chosen to be my final design, the structure are laid out nicely. The rectangular shapes and trapeziums can clearly be seen in the laser cut template. In this template, the lines that are to be etched are displayed with dashed lines, whereas the ones that are to be cut are shown in solid lines with a heavier line weight. I also realised that It is essential that all of the structure and unrolled panels are labelled so that it would be easier know where things are supposed to be placed when building the model.


Week Five

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Fig. 6

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Fig. 8

While scripting the boolean objects, I attempted to use other shapes instead of spheres. In figure 6, the spheres are replaced by solid cylinders.I successfully subtracted cylindrical objects from the box, creating holes that are like wells on the box. There are also other iterations made with different attractor points and scaling methods. Since my aim is to explore the difference between these iterations, I made use of spheres so that the differences are shown clearly.


Week Five


This boolean object is created with spheres subtracted from the box. These spheres are scaled with an attractor point at one of corner on the base of the box (0,75,0). The reason why spheres are chosen because out of the few shapes that I have tried using, such as cylinders, spheres can best address permeability and porosity. Essentially, this model adopts the ideas of graduality and symmetricality that is also explored in task 1. With the use of the attractor point, the spheres get bigger the closer they are to the point. When looking at the top of the sectioned model, it is clear to see that if it is again divided into half, the left and the right sides are symmetrical. The use of spheres also creates an interesting effect. Aside from the fact that spheres look cleaner than some other shapes, each of the spheres has parts that connect to the spheres around it. This can address porosity and permeability because when looking from an opening of one of the spheres, one can see through to the spheres next to the said sphere. This effect cannot be created with other shapes such as cubes.


Week Six Task 01

Task 01 Matrix For task 1, I have explored various kinds of iterations. This includes both twisted surfaces and flat surfaces. I have chosen to use 2 slightly twisted and symmetrical surfaces because I want to build a model that is structurally symmetrical. However, I have chosen 2 contrasting panelling patterns for these 2 symmetrical surfaces. The interesting point about this design is that structurally, it is symmetrical, but in terms of the panels, the patterns have a huge contrast between each other.


Week Six Task 02

Task 02 Matrix For task 2, I attemted to create models with different shapes, attractor points, scaling methods and grids. In the actual model that I want to build, I want to explore the ideas of symmetricality and graduality. So an attractor point is chosen to be placed at (0,75,0), so all the spheres are scaled with this point. I have also chosen to use spheres because parts of the spheres can be connected to the ones next to them.


Week Six

Final Isometric Views




Using grasshopper and other plugins like weaverbird, I tried to come up with diffeent kinds of panelling methods to be used in the actual model. This picture shows one of the panelling patterns I used for the matrix.

This is the panelling pattern that I used in my model. Shapes like triangles, squares and rectangles are very commonly used. So, to have some difference, and to contrast to the other panel of the model, I chose to use circles and ovals as the panelling pattern. This is how it looks when I converted the surface into 2D before sending it to laser cut.


Appendix Process

After I have created both the structure and the panels, I exploded the panels and aligned them properly so that every layer can be seen. There is a distance of 15 units apart so because this works best with my model. This picture shows how the model look in 2D. This is then exported to Illustrator to edit the line weight.

At this stage, I tried to use cylinders as the shapes to be subtracted from the 150 x 150 x 150 box. The outcome was not as nice as it was expected to be, so this is not used in the model.




In the workshop, we were taught to use point attractors to manipulate the grid inside the box. When I was doing the model, I thought of using curve attractors instead of point attractors. However, the result of using one attractor point was not as nice as I expected it to be. So, rather than one curve, I used four in total. The result was interesting because the lines in the middle now have a gentle slope.

This is one of the tests I have done for the matrix. This sphere contribution turns out to clean and tidy. It also fits into the ideas that I intended to focus on for both task 1 and task 2. Thus, I have made this my final design.


Digital Design - M2 Journal  
Digital Design - M2 Journal