Make Architecture



Guru Page – Molding/Casting – Alex

Review of Mold-Making Methods

Vacuum Former –

not many people used the vacuum former to make molds, but we still learned a few things to watch out for:

Watch draft angles – if the angle is too sharp or there is an overhang, it will become very hard to extract the cast once you cast into it, and the plastic is hard enough that it does not flex around the cast very well – See Alex’s vacuum mold

You may need to smooth out the plastic using an eraser or cardboard pieces if it is not forming exactly to the object you would like

O0moo Casting

When using omoo, remember that as a flexible material and will tear easily if to thin or stressed in the wrong way – See Asli’s Balloons

Also remember to consider buoyancy when casting in Oomoo – you will need to provide a restraining force down so your object doesn’t surface – See Asli’s Balloons and JD’s lightbulbs

Oomoo picks up fine details very well – grain in wood, part numbers, etc, but remember that you cannot use mold releasing agents if you do not want the details to wash out. This is even more important in doing live casts – the tradeoff is between getting all of the fine details of your skin or using vaseline so you don’t rip all your hair out. This was a recurring issue in the class.

Oomoo 25 is ligher in color than the Oomoo 30 – it is more flexible but takes longer to set

Oomoo is also useful for rotational casting because it will coat surfaces – see Gerhard’s Easter Eggs


Remember when casting that one of the mold or the casting material needs to be somewhat flexible or you need to use a mold release, otherwise the cast won’t come out intact – see Gerhard’s

Also be very careful about the cast bonding to the mold – do a test before you ruin your mold!

General List of casting materials and their properties – see Sarah’s post for a lot of info

Be VERY careful using clear resin – only use it outside and even then you will probably get a headache. Also, the ratios of catalyst to resin are very important unless you want to spend days and days waiting for the resin to set.

An interesting plan is to make the mold flexible so that you can make various shapes using the same mold – See Mavis’ plates


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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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