Posts tagged with "CNC":

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nonLin/Lin Pavilion: Marc Fornes/THEVERYMANY

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An aluminum prototype structure at FRAC explores non-linear design and fabrication

The new nonLin/Lin Pavilion at the FRAC Centre in Orleans, France, is a coral-like structure of 40 pre-assembled white aluminum modules made of 570 CNC-cut single components punched with 155,780 asterisk-shaped CNC-drilled holes and held together by 75,000 white aluminum rivets. But these pieces, as designer Marc Fornes of THEVERYMANY has demonstrated throughout his work, are much more than the sum of their parts. Neither an art installation nor a model, the pavilion is full-scale architecture that pushes the limits of its materials and of physical fabrication processes with custom computational protocols.
  • Fabricator Marc Fornes/THEVERYMANY
  • Architect Marc Fornes/THEVERYMANY
  • Location Orleans, France
  • Status Prototype
  • Materials Aluminum
  • Process Python, Rhino, CNC milling
The pavilion’s form began with the idea of a “Y” model—essentially the most basic form of multi-directionality. The study indicates Fornes’ interest in architecture’s shift away from linear spaces, including tube and doughnut shapes, to tri-partite forms that cannot be described through one bi-directional surface. Even in the avant-garde architectural repertoire, writes Fornes in his project brief, the bi-directional surface is still often the main medium of representation: “In order to resolve such an issue, it is required to address morphological models of change and introduce split or recombination—or in other words, how can one become two and two become one.” The computational model developed to create the structure describes it as a set of linear, machinable elements that can be unrolled and cut out of flat aluminum sheets. But the process could not be applied globally to the pavilion; that strategy would fail because the structure’s “defects” are recurring yet shifting. Nodes contain varying numbers of branches, and double-curvatures and radii are constantly shifting. Instead, the model was designed to create an individual solution to each surface while keeping in mind nearby conditions including branches and holes, connections, end rings, and open edges. Though the amount of variation is massive, the information was translated to a series of stripes that would be CNC-cut, drilled, or engraved into 4-by-8-foot sheets of aluminum. Machining took less than 2 ½ hours, but pre-assembly using pneumatic rivet guns to fasten the stripes into 40 modules took several weeks. Now part of the FRAC’s permanent collection, the self-supporting structure is 30 by 18 by 15 feet. Fornes’ model is also scalable to a degree and could appear in other applications in the future, but even at the current size it will inspire visitors to think bigger.
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Mike Niven′s Condo Presentation Center: Eventscape

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A sales center on Toronto’s west side shows off a multifaceted approach to fabrication.

The new Studio On Richmond condominiums are located in the middle of Toronto’s Entertainment District, an emerging cultural area around Queen Street on the west side. The 31-story building, designed by Toronto-based Quadrangle Architects, includes 8,000 square feet of space that the Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCADU) will use as a public art gallery and café. The condo’s 2,950-square-foot sales center needed to reflect the area’s artistic vibe, so interior design firm Mike Niven Interior Design turned to Eventscape, a custom architectural fabricator also based in Toronto, to build a collection of faceted, folded elements to reflect the neighborhood’s personality and inspire potential condo buyers.
  • Fabricator Eventscape
  • Designer Mike Niven Interior Design
  • Location Toronto, Ontario
  • Completion Date February 2011
  • Material lacquer-painted MDF, brake-formed metal, polished stainless steel, wool, foam
  • Process CNC milling, individual templating, laser cutting, brake forming
Each of the presentation unit’s elements—a seating niche, a faceted millwork wall, a reception desk, a folded screen, and geometric ceiling and wall panels—called for a different fabrication technique, and each was made of a different material. Because all of the pieces required exact joints with even reveals, the team began with 3-D design and engineering drawings to determine the size and shape of each piece. To create a cave-like seating area at the center of the space, the team built CNC-routed ribs to define the installation’s profile and provide support horizontally and vertically. Next, CNC-milled templates were used to miter-cut foam that was then covered in bright red wool. On the opposite side, the 17-foot-long curved and faceted shell of the niche is composed of CNC-cut MDF panels coated in high-gloss white lacquer and attached to the frame with small hinges. A reception desk is composed of these same triangular shapes, but in polished stainless steel. The designer envisioned a large screen wall that would form one side of the entrance to the condo’s model suite. Eventscape created the structure by laser cutting long, V-shaped pieces of steel made by brake-forming, a process by which a sheet of metal is bent along a straight axis. Each of the screen’s bolted connections is unique. And because of the unit’s standard double-door entrance, the entire form had to be assembled on-site. A series of angled planes made with white upholstered aluminum frames decorates the sales unit walls and ceiling. To achieve a look of randomness, the team used tilted brackets, adjustable mounting hardware, and aircraft cable to secure the panels. Mirroring the installation’s faceted shapes, a rainbow-colored string art wall stretches the length of the unit. OCADU student artwork decorates this wall as well. Enlarged portions of these pieces are also affixed to some wall panels, a colorful signal of the building’s hope of becoming a local institution.
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Beckley Las Vegas Display Tree: Flatcut

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Unraveling strands of steel pipe create a clothing display and focal point for the tony boutique.

Flatcut, a design and fabrication firm with a studio in Brooklyn and a 100,000-square-foot facility in Passaic, New Jersey, has more than 100 machines to its name. Though it has the capabilities to mass-produce 20,000 custom furniture pieces and 50,000-square-foot facades, the firm also creates small, site-specific installations for museums and retail stores. Most recently the Beckley Boutique, a celebrity hot spot and shopping destination on Melrose Avenue, hired Flatcut to design an eye-catching design feature at its new Las Vegas outpost in the Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino. With its Arquitectonica-designed façade, the Cosmopolitan has interiors by Rockwell Group, Jeffrey Beers, and Adam Tihany; the hotel’s retail stores wanted to stand out, too. Beckley envisioned a functional sculpture at the store’s entrance to showcase its eclectic mix of emerging and established fashion designers. Flatcut had already worked on the store’s Melrose flagship, so the firm was a natural choice to design a new feature. Rather than produce a literal translation of a retail “tree” (like the one that stands in the Melrose store window), Flatcut abstracted the design into bunches of unraveling strands to create a dynamic shape that would attract hotel and casino patrons while also setting off the boutique’s wares displayed prominently in the storefront. The design was developed parametrically to establish an iterative process capable of creating multiple variations in a short period of time. The firm’s custom software is capable of reading a series of radii and lengths taken directly from the 3-D model. This results in a highly accurate translation process, with little opportunity for human error. The tree’s strands are made of one-inch outside diameter light-gauge steel tubing pipe bent by a three-axis CNC pipe bender. The sculpture includes a total of 36 custom strands designed from three different curves and cut at 12 different lengths, creating a swirling, centrifugal design. Notches at the top of each branch can hold hangers or accessories. Though the installation stands only 10 feet tall with a diameter of five feet, it holds its own among the hipster clothing and stands out in newly design-centric Las Vegas.
  • Fabricator Flatcut
  • Designer Flatcut
  • Location Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Completion Date December 2010
  • Material 1-inch light gauge steel pipe
  • Process 3-axis CNC pipe bending