Maria Paula Velasquez
// Shajay Bhooshan Studio
Studio Master: Shajay Bhooshan
Consultant: Gregory Epps
Soulaf Aburas (Syria), Giannis Nikas (Greece), Mattia Santi (Italy), Maria Paula Velasquez (Columbia)
// Project description:
We are proposing a flexible, automated robotic fabrication system, which exploits phase-changing materials and utilises the intelligence of a robotic arm through accurate repetitive actions. The system allows the fabrication of a continuous lattice structure that can be melted and reused or left to biodegrade. The dynamism and reusability of the system results in a variety of temporary architectural applications, where the manufactured lattice is manually assembled on site using heat.
Through the systematic manipulation of a phase-changing plastic, in this case polycaprolactone granules, material parameters were programmed in order to achieve structural performance. Taking into consideration the accuracy and constraints of industrial robotic arms within the physical and digital studies, structural beams were computed to be extruded in between mono-material nodes through simple repetitive actions. The customisation of the end effector of the robotic arm was crucial as it allowed us to generate an interface between the arm’s accuracy and the malleability of the material. In order to achieve a structural lattice it was necessary to consider pulling angles of materials, length of the pull and the orientation of the nodes between the beams in space. Through evaluation axial forces proved to work best for the lattice structure and therefore, negotiation between the relaxation of the lattice and its initial condition in order control and select the optimal configuration was required.
Architecture and construction contribute to 70 percent of the overall waste production in London. This research proposes a reusable, biodegradable and temporary architecture. The system is a joint-less, mono-material, self-supporting system that does not require formwork. The fabrication system is enclosed in a mobile unit, shifting the existing paradigm of the factory away from rigid, pre-fabricated components and towards custom architecture utilising phase-changing materials with on-site robotic fabrication. This allows for minimum manual assembly, greatly decreasing the construction and assembly times and removing the necessity for scaffolding.
Maria Paula Velasquez