Make Architecture



Re-DO Form-Machine

to make this project successful and achieve the aggregating panels….

Additional Materials

  • vaseline (no saran wrap needed as previously listed)

Improved Procedure

  • lasercut the formwork and ’stops’
  • Screw the layers of the form to a sturdy piece of backing material (don’t glue!)
  • set the appropriate ’stops’ into the form for your desired piece
  • coat the area with vaseline, apply like caulk to corner joints for easy release
  • mix + pour rockite into mold
  • allow to dry completely (more than the 15 minutes listed)
  • unscrew formwork and pull it away from the cast panel

Design Improvements

I divided the formwork into 2 halves that could be screwed in place or slid away from the cast panel.  This way, the panel could be removed from the machine without destroying the rockite!

New Process

1) I lasercut the improved form and spraypainted it blue in high gloss paint so it could be sealed. Then coated it in vaseline as a release agent.

2) this is where the form comes apart, and screws together again.

3) Here’s how the form breaks away from the cast panel.

4) First 3 successful panels out of the machine.  One has the slot for perpendicular attachment in aggregation. (one was too soft when i took it out so it was quickly patched with leftover rockite)

5) Two panels fit together.

6) Finally, 3 panels forming structure in X,Y,Z directions….  lots of potential!


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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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