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Fiber Syntax

robotic fabrication in architecture, art, and design

Workshop presenters: Moritz Dorstelmann, Ondrej Kyjanek, Marshall Prado

ICD ( Institute for Computational Design) I University of Stuttgart

Rob I Arch 2014


Rob I Arch Conference & workshops hosted by Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning , University of Michigan


Description: Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) possess a number of characteristics such as high load-bearing capacity combined with minimal self-weight. It’s material efficiency can be increased at the scale of material organization, by controlling fiber orientation. Existing manufacturing techniques for FRP rely on costly formworks either for serial production of identical elements, or a complex adaptive formwork for production of a unique element. The fiber winding strategy developed for the ICD /ITKE Research Pavilion reduces the necessity of formwork to a minimum, while providing a high degree of freedom for geometrically differentiated building components. The fabrication setup consists of two industrial robots, Kuka KR60s, which are kinematically linked to operate as one 12 axis robotic system. Kuka RoboTeam software is used, while development of winding strategies is based on design tools developed by ICD.The fiber winding strategy needs to ensure proper fiber-fiber interaction for fabrication, influenced by the frame geometry, fiber tension, winding syntax & the systematic sequence of fiber placement. The frame geometry is defined by design strategies & fabrication constraints. Variation in winding syntax creates scaffolding for each component & structural reinforcing. Fiber tension depends on the robotic control, winding speed & material resistance.

Credits: Niloufar Emami, Shabnam Hosseini, Khaled Elashry, David Newton

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