Make Architecture



04b: Shopbot/TechnoCNC: Benchy

In this project, I wanted to use contouring along with snapfit joinery.  To create my contoured surface, I wrote a Rhinoscript which emulates waves and ripples, as if a stone is thrown in the water.  I generated my .stl file in Rhino and I used VisualCAM (which is provided by MIT) to process my .nc file.  I produced the milling file with EZCAM.  My job list included one contouring file and one milling file.

Lessons learnt:

1.  Be careful with the z(0) settings.

2.  You might want to offset milling boundaries, just in case you need to run files twice, or set the x,y,z (0) twice.

3.  Always simulate your files and run on the CNC beforehand.

4.  Group your jobs.  If you are cutting the bench top, separate that file from that of the legs.

5.  You might want to use the same software to generate the G-code.  Check details.

6.  The tight snap-fitting details break the uppermost layer.  In order to create smoother joineries, it is good to mill one piece, measure it, and then move on to other fitting pieces.

Notes:  Many thanks to Alexandros Tsamis for his help.


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Instructor: Nick Gelpi TA: Skylar Tibbits TA: Varvara Toulkeridou
Class Times, Monday, 1-4pm - room 5-216
4.184 is an intensive introduction to methods of making explored through a wide range of brief but focused 1-week exercises. We'll engage the real and leave behind representation in the focused context of this class gaining skills for utilizing a range of fabrication machines and technologies from lasercutting, waterjet, 3D printing, welding, formworking-molding, casting, gears, joints and composites.
In this workshop we'll constrain ourselves to the territory of the 1:1. Students will represent architectural constructions at full scale and develop a more intimate relationship with technology by engaging the tools and techniques that empower us. We will gain access to the most cutting edge machines and technologies in the MARS lab at the Center for Bits and Atoms.
The second layer of information for this course will be to look at a series of case studies in which construction methods and technologies have played a dominant role in the design process .
Over the past 20 years, architects have focused on the technology of representation to create new ideas of what architecture could be. Looking back today, much of that research failed to substantially change the way we design buildings by focusing on apriori formal configurations. This class makes the contention that this failure comes from a lack of considerations of the potentials within fabrication knowledge. We look to the future of what building might become, given the expanded palette of personalize-able technologies available to us as architects. Students will participate in curious technological and material investigations, to discover the potentials, known and unknown, for these various technologies.
The sub-disciplines of what's drawn and what's built have been compartmentalized and disassociated as the representational tools of architecture have distanced themselves from the techniques of making. At the same time the technologies for “making” in architecture have provided us with new possibilities for reinventing how we translate into reality, the immaterial representations of architecture.


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