AC16 – Robotic Contouring Completed…

AC16_01_C_JonathanPaljor AC16_02_C_AndreiGheorghe AC16_03_C_AndreiGheorghe AC16_04_C_AndreiGheorgheAC16_05_C_AndreiGheorghe AC16_06_C_JonathanPaljor


The project is an ongoing research on the development of three-dimensional folding of profiles without the use of expensive formwork or time consuming additive processes. A robotic workflow is employed to achieve in a fast and efficient fashion the production of a highly intricated spatial instalation. Since the beginning, parametric computation was applied to design the overall configuration towards the detailing and fabrication setup.

Formally, the project introduces an idea of spatial frames with a high degree of freedom, bending and twisting in space. Through the precise calculation with Finite Elements Analysis, a bundling system is used to develop a vertical structure made of light plastic profiles. Surfaces are produced from linear elements with textiles, creating different spatial and surface effects.

The “ARCHITECTURE CHALLENGE” program is an international design workshop series in collaboration with international experts and institutions. It is intended for architecture students interested in exploring integrated digital design and fabrication while simultaneously designing a full-scale built project within the teaching environment of the Institute of Architecture at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Architectural Design at “Die Angewandte” is taught as an integrated, multidisciplinary process. Following this tradition, the design process in the workshop was enriched with robotic design strategies combining Grasshopper plugins such as the KUKA|prc and KARAMBA platforms. The workshop was taught by Andrei Gheorghe, Manora Auersperg and Philipp Hornung from Die Angewandte, Robert Vierlinger from Bollinger + Grohmann Engineers and Franz Steiner from Clever Contour. The handling of virtual simulation methods and the engineering of full-scale structures using robotic manufacturing were a primary focus of the project.

Structural Performance

The bundling system is able to produce continuous structural behavior from 2 meter long elements. With connections in multiple directions, the structure achieves great height with 3x3cm PE plastic profiles. The organization of material and orientation of components were defined with the constant and real time feedback of Karamba structural analysis.

Fabrication Strategy

With the collaboration of Clever Contour and their unique research on complex bending and twisting, an integrative workflow was introduced. From the conceptual design, a computational workflow was created to automatize the whole process: From initial ideas, structural analysis was used to guide and optimize design decisions. Rationalization of the overall form fed the fabrication system, creating a seamless flow from design to materialization.

The geometry was translated into robotic production through KUKA|prc, allowing the simulation and pre-visualization of each component considering the specific material behavior. The construction setup was developed and optimized using a continous digital design chain towards full scale production.