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TIMBLOCK //5G

Research Cluster 4, 2016-2017 M.Arch Architectural Design

UCL, The Bartlett School of Architecture


RESEARCH CLUSTER 4 Gilles Retsin, Manuel Jimenez Garcia, Soler Senent Vicente

5G: Mingche Wang, Yazhu Liang,Yanhua Yin, Tianyun Zhang, Yufei Zheng

The Bartlett School of Architecture UCL


CONTENTS

01 INTRODUCTION 1.1 research statement

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1.2 joint and reversability

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1.3 project overview

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1.4 comparison research

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02 TILE DESIGN 2.1 tile formation and different scales

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2.2 combination logic

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2.3 computational logic

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2.4 logic of different densities

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2.5 target system

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03 DESIGN DEVELOPMENT 3.1 hierarchical system

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3.2 meta-tile development

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3.3 architectural element

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04 DESIGN AUTOMATION 4.1 architectural element: column

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4.2 architectural element: stair

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4.3 computation controlled domino house

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05 FABRICATION RESEARCH 5.1 material research

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5.2 fabrication test

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5.3 joint design

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5.4 CNC milling

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5.5 robotic assembly

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06 ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN 6.1 generating process

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6.2 column analysis

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6.3 chunk design

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6.4 domino house design

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INTRODUCTION From continuous to discrete

BETWEEN LINEAR ANF SOLID In the digital architecture era, there are many examples using multiple material and fabrication metods to form architectures. Research cluster 4 aims on discrete design with digital material. The previous projects like voxatile, wirevoxel, mickeymatter and int all explored in certain ways to achieve discrete design. These projects differs from each other in many aspects. The most obvious is the form which shows in linear or solid patterns. Meta-tile found its position between linear and solid. The combination ways show linear connections and the tile itself is in solid form although it is hollow.

CONTINUOUS AND DISCRETE Although there is such a view that some architects seem to be reluctant to adopt the homogeneous and repetitive lattice-like structures associated with the digital materials, but the development of digital technology has increased the possibility of architectural form, from simple plane generation to complex shape simulation.

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FRACTAL GEOMETRY AND META-TILE Digital material assemblies as a simplified unit in discrete design need to be supported by the geometric theory. Fractal geometry is helpful to the composition and analysis of basic tile in discrete design. Fractal refer to the study of infinite complex geometry with self similar structure. Many of the object with a self similar hierarchy, in ideal circumstances, even with infinite hierarchy. The size of an object is enlarged or reduced, and the whole structure is not changed. Illuminated by fractal fractal geometry, our group proposed a way to response the scaling up of digital material in architectural design. This leads to the concept of a component: a large, discrete element that itself is composed of many small, serialized parts or particles. With small units, the geometry could operate as a data structure in a large number of design variables. These geometric elements are equivalent to the brick in the traditional building structure. These basic units are a series, and reversible for large structures. As a result of the units can be recombined, some parts are reassembly.


Comparison between previous projects

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INTRODUCTION Research statement

DISCRETE, STURDY, LIGHT, QUICK ASSEMBLY We want to use discrete timber pieces to create sturdy spaceframe structures and use robots and glue to quickly assemble the meta-part. With meta-parts we can make lager aggregations on site.

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Discrete pieces

Common material

Quick assembly process

Sturday and durable as aechitecture

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INTRODUCTION

Discrete joint and Reversability

Brick wall

Continous printing

Continous

Group INT dissolvable glue

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Wirevoxel welding

Lego Friction joint

Discrete Reversable

Additive Assembly of Digital Materials

Complex timber dissolvable glue

TimBlock reversable wood joint

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INTRODUCTION Project overview

Combination patterns

Discrete pieces

Joint design for interlocking

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Fabricate with CNC milling

Robotic assembly process


multiple scales

Transport Meta-tiles and construct on site

Scaling up using Meta-tile

Architecture scale

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INTRODUCTION Material and fabrication

COMMON MATERIAL Wood is one of the most common and traditional material that can be used in architectural construction. It is easy to reach and can be processed into mutiple prefabricated material. It is also environmental friendly and reproducible. Comparing to other construction materials like steel and concrete, wood is cheaper and lighter. For those reasons, we chose wood as our material and try to make it fit for discrete design. EXSITING PROCESSING METHODS Wood can be fabricated into many different kinds of building material. The most common one is timber, which has certain section sizes and is usually used in making small span structure like ballon frame. For large span architecture, another two kinds of wood are commonly used that are Glulam and CLT timber. They can be made into customed sizes and have high strength. The CLT timber is as strong as concrete.

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SMALL SECTION WOOD AND HIGH STRENGTH With the thinking of discrete design, the team TimBlock tried to find a way to make large span architecture with small section wood. Thousands of small pieces together with suitable joints can form strong structure for architecture. By using CNC milling, wood pieces can be processed accurately and quickly. Simple wood joints can join pieces tightly with glue. The special piece geometry help to form some truss-like structure in both column and floor pattern, which make the whole structure stronger and may use less material. Several pieces can be combined into some parts. Between those parts, reversible joints are used so that architecture will become reversible and can be re-assembled. If this proposal is realized, wooden architecture would be more and more flexible and easy to fabricate. However, the assemble of that many pieces accurately and quickly will be a problem for us to solve.


Glulam

Timber

Balloon Frame

Gridshell

Cross-laminated timber

Gridshell

CLT construction

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INTRODUCTION

General wood VS discrete wood pieces

Limited and constant column size

Small span

General wood architecture

Simplex plan

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Various column densities with discrete pieces

Large span and spaceframe structure

Discrete wood architecture

Flexible plan

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INTRODUCTION INT VS TimBlock

Glue joint

High density and vertical columns

Team INT

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Massive floor plan


Wood joint with glue

Columns with different angles and densities

Structural floor pattern in truss form

Team WoodBlock

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TILE DESIGN tile formation and different scale, combination logic, patterns and aggregations, physical model test and computation logic

The Bartlett School of Architecture UCL


DESIGN RESEARCH Design overview

THE HIERARCHICAL SYSTEM IN DISCRETE DESIGN According to result of the thesis report, the hierarchical system is an effective method to scale up in discrete design. From the logic rationality in architectural design, this paper proposes that a hierarchical structure can be an effective strategy to scale up from geometry, meta-tile to large-scale aggregation. On this foundation, inheritance logic can promote a system from part to whole, which may be suitable for design at the scale of architecture. The hypothesis of this paper is that the system can be seen as hierarchically scalable digital material in discrete design algorithms, and discrete system is a suitable approach to the automated design. In hierarchical systems, hierarchical inheritance and method combination can be applied to more specific operations. The system (figure 3) in discrete design is similar to the inheritance logic: setting a single object can become an abstract base class.

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Moreover, the object, as a component, can be simply combined and then grown infinitely. In the intermediate class, few objects with logic in the base class are a unit, and these units can aggregate to a meta-part. Retsin (2015) argues that meta-part is “a large-scale, discrete element that in itself is composed out of many smaller, serialized parts or particles�. Indeed, expanding an order of magnitude in the discrete assembly process requires a highly designed part with a particular material organization structure and behavior (Retsin et al., 2015). These two classes can be classified as the parent class, because their common purpose is to scale up so as to get derived class, and meanwhile, they use the same rule. The derived class still inherits features of the last class and sets modification rules to restrict the combination methods. Theoretically, hierarchical systems can improve the efficiency of design by repeating the use of sequences.


Basic class Piece

structure optimization

Intermediate class

meta-part

meta-tile architectural structure

HIERARCHICAL INHERITANCE

Derived class Architecture

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DESIGN RESEARCH Tile parameters

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Simplify

Connecting surface

Chamfer

Tile with joint


Single pemutation groups

3 different scales

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DESIGN RESEARCH Wood block generation

Discrete wood frame

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General wood frame

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DESIGN RESEARCH Combinational logic

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TILE COMBINATORICS

Multiple tile combinations with the loop pattern

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Few objects with a random combinatorial pattern can constitute a unit. Unit formation creates the logic in this base hierarchy. Figure 6 proves that a chained continuous loop can be a hierarchical system from 2d to 3d and a unit. In this hierarchy, each piece is like a Voxel.

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DESIGN DEVELOPMENT Hierarchical system, meta-tile development and architectural element

The Bartlett School of Architecture UCL


HIERARCHICAL SYSTEM Combination logic and bounding box

To aggregate into a larger block, the units in the base hierarchy should be organized in a bounding box. Furthermore, the pieces or units generate a meta-part in the bounding box. the variation of number of pieces in units leads to the production of multivariate aggregations. In general, the bounding box is a cube or polyhedron. And this pattern is more freedom and variable in the hierarchical system. Inside the meta-parts, different units or pieces can be rendered in different forms. Also, the size of them is scalable or reduced with the variety of the whole structure. the elements in the bounding box can form new spatial lattice through the combined logic in the established order and organization model. the meta-part, as a whole, becomes a combination tool for application which not only facilitates adjacency relations but also simplifies the way it is connected. Hence, in the next hierarchy, the inner connections between the pieces or units can be omitted, and only the adjacency ways between the meta-parts will be considered.

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HIERARCHICAL SYSTEM From Meta - tile to Meta - part

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META-TILE SYSTEMIC HIERARCHY Meta - tile and Controlled aggregation

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META-TILE SYSTEMIC HIERARCHY Meta - tile and Prototyping structures

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ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS The rules for the internal column from 2D to 3D

Connecting surface

Different connecting pattern

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the Meta - Tile generation

the plane pattern

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ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS Different columns

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ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS Different columns

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ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS Different columns

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63 pieces

60 pieces

32 pieces

28 pieces

60 pieces

36 pieces

84 pieces

64 pieces


80 pieces

94 pieces

50 pieces

96 pieces

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ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS Connections between the columes

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ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS Connections between single columns

Aggregation of single columns with the loop pattern

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Revolution of the Column

Layered structure Two dimensional formation: Material wasting

Truss-like structure Less material, stong structure, multi-density

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ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS Structure with meta columns

The purpose of the intermediate hierarchy is to reuse the base class logic, so as to improve the efficiency of the hierarchical systems. Meta-tile, as a better manner, is proposed. Although meta-tile has the similar property of meta-part, the bounding box resembles tile of geometric logic. There are different units in the meta-tiles which have a bounding box of the same geometric logic with a self-similar structure in the grid relation. In some cases, the combination of meta-tiles is also followed by the underlying units or pieces in the overall framework. The hierarchical system in combinatorics and the repeated use of sequences can not only optimize the inner meta-tile but also adapt the desired resolution. Whether in base class or intermediate class, any composition between the basic units or the meta-tile should be restricted. these limitations are expected to reach a larger scale under less material and more stable structural conditions. Therefore, the base and intermediate class connections depend on the optimization of the structural interior and material. That will be related to the clustering problem of data set with multilevel-density clusters (clusters with different density and hierarchical structures between them). It is mainly used to study the the structure optimization that will be mentioned in the following.

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ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS Different patterns and aggregations

the connected pattern between floor and colume 72


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ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS Different patterns and aggregations

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DESIGN DEVELOPMENT Structue optimisation

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Flat surface

Draws grids for strctural optimisation

Floor plate grid (20 mm.x20 mm.)

Set support and load conditions


Bear point loads

Selected load case

Connection point between blocks

Fundamental structure pattern

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DESIGN DEVELOPMENT Basic floor & column pattern

In this optimization process, once the initial geometry of the component is defined and explained, it is usually used after the optimization of the overall free pattern. While the shape optimization allows you to deform the units in design, This is more efficient than creating new geometries and then meshing again. A variable density based topology optimization method was applied to the structure of the meta-part to to improve the hierarchical system. the hierarchical system with topology optimization of discrete structure is improved.This may make the design approach more reasonable.

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DESIGN DEVELOPMENT Generation of plane pattern

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Fundamental structure pattern

A variable density based topology optimization method was applied to the structure of the metapart to to improve the hierarchical system. the hierarchical system with topology optimization of discrete structure is improved.This may make the design approach more reasonable.By repeating the use of sequences of the rules, hierarchical systems can improve the efficiency of creating spaces.

Structue optimisation

Floor structure pattern


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DESIGN DEVELOPMENT The colume detail

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Meta-part for domino house

Column detail

Floor to column transaction

Transaction detail

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DESIGN DEVELOPMENT The colume detail

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Space frame reference

Truss-like structure detail

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DESIGN DEVELOPMENT Architectural chunk contrast

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DESIGN DEVELOPMENT Architectural chunk proposal

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DESIGN DEVELOPMENT B-PRO chunk proposal

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DESIGN DEVELOPMENT Connection between floorslab and structure

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DESIGN DEVELOPMENT Floor slab proposal

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DESIGN AUTOMATION Computational design research, basic growing algorithm, logic of different densities, target system and architectural element

UCL, The Bartlett School of Architecture


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ARCHITECTURE AUTOMATION Architecture element: slab

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Step1: Add load to the slab

Step2: Add support to the analyzing system

Step3: Achieve the result of force analyzing

Step4: Align piece to the force-analyzing result. The more stress in an area, the higher density of the pieces occupying.


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ARCHITECTURE AUTOMATION Computation controled domino house

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ARCHITECTURE AUTOMATION Computation controled domino house

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FABRICATION material research, fabrication test, joint design, CNC milling and robotic assembly

UCL, The Bartlett School of Architecture


FABRICATION RESEARCH Fabrication statement

The definition of digital material “truly digital material is a set of discrete parts which includes discrete connections and discrete spaces, which allows reversible assembly.” (Ward 2010, p7) “We define a digital material as a discrete set of components that can be of any sizes and shape, made of various materials and that can fit together in various ways (press fit, friction fit, snap fit, reflow binding, etc).” (George A. Popescu, Tushar Mahale, Neil Gershenfeld, 2006) “assembled from a discrete set of parts, reversibly joined in a discrete set of relative positions and orientations” (Gershenfeld et al. 2015, p122 )

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FABRICATION RESEARCH Material research

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3D printing Ideal for small pieces

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FABRICATION RESEARCH Different fabrication methods to test

Laser Cut

3D printing

Casting

plywood sheet

PLA filament

Liquid plastic Plaster Cement Jesmonite

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Injection molding

Manual Cutting

CNC Milling

Wax test

Softwood timber

Hardwood sheet

Plastic pellets

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FABRICATION RESEARCH Material test

Casting

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Casting Design & Process

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FABRICATION RESEARCH Fabrication test

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FABRICATION RESEARCH Material comparison

Comparison of different materials

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FABRICATION RESEARCH Fabrication test --- injection moulding

INJECTION MOLDING Tile design - clipping , hollow piece with tolerance

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FABRICATION RESEARCH Fabrication test --- injection moulding

INJECTION MOLDING Mold design - draft angle

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INJECTION MOLDING Mold design - draft angle

Part A of mold

The problems during casting test

Part B of mold

When two parts clip

The solution of mold design

Air vents on the 4 side surfaces of the mold

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FABRICATION RESEARCH Fabrication test --injection moulding

INJECTION MOLDING Mold design - pieces design test

Test description: we attempt design our project without any glue, so the tolerance and precision is very important to test to make two parts clipped perfectly. 1. first try test of toolpaths which are created in powermill software, the basic geometry looks fine, but the surface is not very smooth, also the tolerance 0.4mm is too big for the two part of hollow piece to clipe together. 2. second try test looks fine with the toolpaths in powermill, it shows the code for machine is sucessful, however the tolerance is still too big. 3. the third try with high density foam is the best result compared with initial tests. when the material is harder, more precise the pieces will be wwand clipping design will works better.

Male part

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Female part


Toolpaths and tolerance test with foam to make precise pieces with 3-axis milling machine HAAS

GREY FOAM: first try with tolerance 0.4mm for two parts of the hollow piece.

GREY FOAM: second try with tolerance 0.2mm for two parts of the hollow piece.

HIGH DENSITY FOAM — KIKA: third try with tolerance 0.1mm for two parts of the hollow piece.

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FABRICATION RESEARCH Fabrication test --injection moulding

Toolpaths of top side: 1.EM12-Model Area Clerance Strategy 2. EM12-Offset Flat Finishing Strategy 3. EM3-ModelRestAreaClearanceStrategy 4. BN12-Optimised Constant Z Finishing strategy 5. EM6-Model Rest Area Clerance strategy Tools of top side: 1.EM12 2. EM6 3. EM3 4. BN12 5. BN6 6. DR6 In total: toolpaths: 5 tools: 6 boundries: 12 time: 52 min 39 sec

Toolpaths of top side: 1.EM12-Model Area Clerance Strategy 2. EM12-Offset Flat Finishing Strategy 3. EM3-ModelRestAreaClearanceStrategy 4. BN12-Optimised Constant Z Finishing strategy 5. EM3- Corner Pencil Finishing 6 EM6-Model Rest Area Clearance 7 EM6-Model Rest Area Clerance strategy

Tools of top side: 1.EM12 2. EM6 3. EM3 4. BN12 5. BN6 6. DR6 In total: toolpaths: 7 tools: 6 boundries: 12 time: 60 min 24 sec 138


Piece test milling process

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FABRICATION RESEARCH Fabrication test --injection moulding

TWO SCALE SIZE MOLDS

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FABRICATION RESEARCH Fabrication test --injection moulding

INJECTION MOLDING Wax test

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INJECTION MOLDING Machining process

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FABRICATION RESEARCH Fabrication test --injection moulding

CHALLENGES OF INJECTION MOLDING

SMALL SIZE PIECE

3D Printing PLA Filament

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MEDIUM SIZE PIECE

BIG SIZE PIECE

Injection molding

Casting

Plastic pellets

Jesmonite

Manual cutting Timber

quicker easier cheaper stronger large quantity

CNC milling Wood sheet

too expensive not quick heavy

quicker lighter cheaper stronger precious

Robotic milling

challenge for fabricate

Wood blocks

cost a lot of time to set up

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FABRICATION RESEARCH Fabrication method for wood piece

Cut manually with miter saw

Cut manually with band saw, do chamfer with router

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Cut manually with band saw

CNC Milling

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MANUALL CUT SOFTWOOD TIMBER


FABRICATION RESEARCH Timber model test

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FABRICATION RESEARCH Timber model prototype

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FABRICATION RESEARCH Timber column

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JOINT RESEARCH

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JOINT DESIGN Chunk with joints

Divided B-pro chunk for assembling 168


Different custom sized joint for each part 169


CNC MILLING IN HARDWOOD SHEET


FABRICATION RESEARCH CNC milling model design

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FABRICATION RESEARCH Toolpath design

Programming toolpaths of top side

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Programming toolpaths of bottom side

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FABRICATION RESEARCH Hardwood sheet comparison and test

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FABRICATION RESEARCH Material test

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FABRICATION RESEARCH CNC milling process

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FABRICATION RESEARCH CNC milling process

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FABRICATION RESEARCH CNC milling process

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FABRICATION RESEARCH Waste material using

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FABRICATION RESEARCH Fabrication workflow

Customer order

Deliver order to factory

Transport and construct on site in architrctural scale

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CNC milling in pre-fabrication factory

Combine two parts in factories

Robotic assembly for mega parts

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ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

UCL, The Bartlett School of Architecture


ARCHITECTURAL SPECULATION Architectural scale


Meta - part is a scaling up component which is composed of basic units with different scales and combinations, and it seems to be a simple and practical method that is more easily adapted to the larger scale in architectural structure. The composition pattern of meta-part is determined by the basic unit, which has a more rigorous structural model on the fractal geometry. Meta - part can be disassembled and separated, because the geometry of the parts is easier to be assembled


ARCHITECTURAL SPECULATION Stress point analysis


ARCHITECTURAL SPECULATION Architectural prototype


ARCHITECTURAL SPECULATION Generating process and plane changes

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ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS Column analysis

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ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS Column analysis

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ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS Column analysis

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ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS Chunks

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ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS Chunks

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ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS Chunks

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ARCHITECTURAL PROTOTYPE Domino and its dimension

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ARCHITECTURAL PROTOTYPE The interior space

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ARCHITECTURAL PROTOTYPE The back elevation

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ARCHITECTURAL PROTOTYPE Crystallization into voxels

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ARCHITECTURAL PROTOTYPE The material distrubution

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ARCHITECTURAL PROTOTYPE Crystallization into voxels

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ARCHITECTURAL PROTOTYPE The back elevation

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The Bartlett School of Architecture MArch Architectural Design Research Cluster 4

Timblock portfolio (Postgraduate)  

Research Cluster 4, M.Arch Architectural Design, the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, the United Kingdom

Timblock portfolio (Postgraduate)  

Research Cluster 4, M.Arch Architectural Design, the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, the United Kingdom

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