Form Follows Flow: A Material-driven Computational Workflow For Digital Fabrication of Large-Scale Hierarchically Structured Objects

2015  L. Mogas-Soldevila, Duro-Royo J., and Oxman, N., Proceedings of the ACADIA 2015 Conference – Computational Ecologies: Design in the Anthropocene, Cincinnati, In review


In the  natural  world,  biological  matter  is  structured  through  growth  and  adaptation, resulting  in  hierarchically structured  forms  with  tunable  material  computation. Conventional digital design tools and processes, by  contrast, prioritize shape over matter, lacking integration between modeling, analysis, and fabrication. We present a novel computational environment and workflow for the design and additive manufacturing of large-scale  hierarchically structured objects. The system, composed by custom multi-barrel deposition attached to robotic positioning, integrates material properties, fabrication constraints and environmental forces to design and construct  full-scale architectural components. Such components are physically form-found by digitally extruding natural polymers with functionally graded mechanical and optical properties informed by desired functionality and executed through flow-based fabrication. In this approach, properties such as viscosity, velocity, and pressure embed information in two-dimensional printing patterns and induce three-dimensional shape formation of the fabricated part. As a result, the workflow associates physical material and fabrication constraints to virtual design tools for modeling and analysis, challenging traditional design workflows and prioritizing flow over form. Access CFP here.

Form Follows Flow

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