FDM Formwork for Discrete Concrete Stair
Concrete has always been in the forefront of construction materials thanks to its inherent potential of being cast into any conceivable shape. Even though computational tools in architecture, through digital fabrication, have improved customized production and enabled a new architectural design freedom, the construction industry has no sustainable solutions for the production of free form complex concrete structures yet. In this context, the present research investigates FDM formwork for (ultra)-high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete to produce large-scale building components from discrete elements. This fabrication method provides designers with an unprecedented freedom in regard to mass customization and facilitates formwork fabrication off-site within a low-cost sustainable technique. The potential of the synergy between concrete and 3D Printing is showcased through the design and fabrication of a staircase, deepening its figurative, sculptural and functional aspects with its extensive capacity to give character to the architectural space.
A computational tool was designed to combine comfort and geometrical rules typical of a functional element, together with the aesthetic of a fluid sculpture. This setup only needs the starting and ending points as input, to generate a full design. The interpolation between the two input points can be represented by a Bezier curve/ NURB spline. This generating axis gets geometrically transformed by a set of parameters such as the width of the global shape, the riser and the tread. The design tool already integrates all the features such as fabrication data for 3d printing, the post tensioning cable position, the interlocking connection pin and the discretization for the assembly of the element.
Tutors_ Andrei Jipa, Benjamin Dillenburger