Posts tagged with "Rhino":

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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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Seeyond's Parametric Building System

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Self-supporting tessellations can take almost any form.

“People are pretty burned out on the office cubicle and panel systems,” said Nat Porter, general manager of Seeyond Architectural Solutions. The company, which launched this month, aims to give architects an alternative to standard space dividers with its new user-controlled parametric design and digital fabrication building system. Seeyond’s history goes back ten years, to sculptor and designer Jonas Hauptman’s experimentations with folded materials. For a class he was teaching, he turned for materials to Liberty Diversified International (LDI), whose roots are in the corrugated fiberboard industry. Hauptman teamed up with Paul James, a mathematician, economist, and industrial designer already working with LDI (now Seeyond’s parent company). They presented their business proposal in 2009 and the new fabrication system was born.
  • Fabricator Seeyond
  • Designer Seeyond
  • Location National
  • Status Ongoing
  • Material Flat stock
  • Process CNC cutting and scoring
“There was a big gap in what you could envision on a computer and what you could build,” said Porter. “The business idea was to close that gap.” The company supplies its own specification tool, called Tess, to architects and designers (an iPad app is available). From there, the user selects a type of feature—wall-mounted structure, non-loadbearing wall, ceiling cloud, column wrap, or partial enclosure—then modifies its size, shape, and tessellation before choosing other options like relief patterns or lighting. Because Tess is a parametric design tool, any change of one geometric variable modifies all dependent variables as well. Once the design is finalized, 3-D modeling data is converted to 2-D CAD information before being exported in machine code for fabrication. The fabrication technique can be applied to any cold-formed material that can be cut and scored with a CNC machine, then folded into shape. Each tessellation within the design is a monocoque, or self-supporting shell. The company says a designer should know within hours of creating a model what a feature will cost and how it looks rendered into a space. Base pricing ranges from $50-$85 per square foot and manufacturing time, from design to installation, is expected to be four to six weeks. Most structures are assembled in a few hours (watch a video of the process here), and none require any tools. Once CNC cutting is complete, flat pieces are folded; then, modules are aligned with high-performance, rare earth magnets. For early projects, the company will build sub-assemblies in its 5,000-square-foot Golden Valley, Minnesota, facility and ship them to the client, but in the future structures could be flat-packed and assembled on site. Freestanding structures are anchored to the floor with a heavy base plate or bolts. The system is so new that the company is only now beginning its first commissioned projects, including a freestanding enclosure for a PR firm and an illuminated restaurant wall, but it has built several of its own installations. These include a cable-hung cloud, a curving, wood-veneered shell, and a wall with an interior matrix that comes into high relief when illuminated. Along with LED modules, acoustical modules and designs for outdoor structures are also in the works. “I think our challenge is that the possibilities are infinite, but infinity overwhelms people,” said Porter. “So a lot of our job is going to be showing traditional applications, but our real goal is to give power back to the architects and designers. It’s going to be really interesting to see where they take it.”