Make Architecture



2: LaserCut

2: LaserCut

by Otto Ng []

:: kit:

– Universal laser cut machine at studio 7

– 1/16″x14″x17″ chipboard

– settings:  power 70,  speed 10,  500ppi

:: objective

As part of the process towards the final project, lasercutting is my first investigation on the fabrication tools.  I conceived this as a preparatory test for the cutting on waterjet and CNC.  Therefore I attempted to produce the object with 1/16″ chipboard of which the rigidity and malleability somewhat resembles that of metal sheet / timber sheet.

Cut edges / Meeting edges / Folding lines / Required grain:

Translating the fabrication method from the scale of small basswood model to a double sized chipboard object will face the following challenges:

1)  how to create notches along curves to bind surfaces together

2)  how to fold along curves

3) how to bend the surface and make it stay in shape

:: notches

:: folding

most of them have similar result in terms of fold-ability which also very much depends on material and power setting

:: surface

flexible and able to hold the curvature:

unfortunate burning:

:: final result

click here to download the dwg file


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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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