Designing a Tree: Fabrication Informed Digital Design and Fabrication of Hierarchical Structures

2018  Duro-Royo, J., Van Zak, J., Ling, A., Tai, Y-J., Hogan, N., Darweesh, B., and Oxman, N. , Proceedings of the IASS Annual Symposium. 2018,


Aiming at tight integration between material formation, digital fabrication, and physical behavior we propose a large-scale hybrid structure encompassing Fabrication Information Modeling as framework by which the designer can control the composition, structure, and properties of matter within robotic manufacturing. The Aguahoja Pavilion is a multi-material shell combining biodegradable members and a tunable biocomposite skin. Material combinations are controlled through local-to-global function-dependent deposition. Flexible-to-rigid, dense-to-sparse, thin-to-thick, neutral-to-oxidized, transparent-to-opaque, and permanent-to-disassociated property maps are implemented as inputs for computational design and digital fabrication, thereby promoting full integration between robotic fabrication platforms, atomistic material modeling, and form generation. In particular, information is embedded within robotic toolpaths where each meta-node compiles geometric pattern density, nozzle deposition thickness, tonal composition, and chemically tuned decay. At the nanoscale, biomolecules are chosen to maximize desired basic-to-acidic and hydrophobic-to-hydrophilic transitions. At the mesoscale, crystallite orientation is controlled to affect flexible-to-rigid behavior, while hierarchical printing determines thin-to-thick gradients. Finally, at the macroscale, dense-to-sparse geometry is designed and permanent-to-disassociated decay maps are assigned in correlation to environmental factors. This work points towards a future where the grown and the manufactured unite. Aguahoja embodies the Material Ecology design approach to material formation and decay; it is a realization of the ancient biblical verse "From Earth to Earth"― from water to water.

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