THE FLOOR IS YOURS
Functional Formwork for a funicular floor
The Funicular Floor demonstrator for the NEST HiLo, showcases how 3D-printed formwork can be used to integrate functional features in structurally optimised building components. 3D printing is suitable for the mass customization of unique parts with complex geometries. In particular, fused deposition modelling (FDM) is a 3D printing technology which can use bio-based, recyclable plastics such as PLA to produce large formwork components. The fabrication freedom of 3D-printed formwork opens new possibilities for complex shapes in concrete, which can have implications beyond surface aesthetics. It facilitates the precise fabrication of the optimised ribbed structure and it also allows the integration of functional voids inside the slab for building services provisions.
The Funicular Floor demonstrator showcases an exquisite digitally designed geometry, evoking aesthetic motifs from gothic architecture. The 3D-printed formwork makes the articulated soffit and millimetre-precise concrete details possible and bridges the gap between digital design and physical fabrication. 3D printing thus enables the unlimited digital design freedom to become available for physical artifacts as well.
The computational design process uses a simple structural diagram as starting point to generate a basic mesh geometry with several principal ribs. Iteratively, new generations of secondary, tertiary and quaternary ribs are introduced based on quantifiable relationships between the existing ribs. After several iterations of selective subdivision sequences and parametric smoothing, the articulated final surface is defined with around 6 million mesh faces.
Team_ Andrei Jipa, Georgia Chousou, Matteo Lomaglio, Prof. Dr. Benjamin Dillenburger
Block Research Group, ETH Zurich – Cristián Calvo Barentin, Dr. Matthias Rippmann, Dr. Andrew Liew, Dr. Tom Van Mele, Prof. Dr. Philippe Block
Architecture and Building Systems, ETH Zurich – Dr. Gearóid Lydon, Prof. Dr. Arno Schlüte
Digital Building Technologies, ETH Zurich – Andrei Jipa, Matteo Lomaglio, Georgia Chousou, Prof. Dr. Benjamin Dillenburger
Support_ Andi Reusser, Mike Lyrenmann, Nora Ravanidou, Patrick Bedarf
Photo and Video Credits_ Andrei Jipa, Matthias Rippman.
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