Friday, November 16, 2012

ROB|ARCH 2012 Rotterdam workshop

The ROB|ARCH 2012 Rotterdam takes place at Hyperbody’s robotics lab at the RDM Innovation dock in Rotterdam. Jelle Feringa [1] and Wes Mcgee [2] co-taught the workshop, which will run simultaneously with other ROB|ARCH workshops from December 14th to 16th. This effort is part of the International Conference on Architectural Robotics, an initiative of the Association for Robots in Architecture.
The workshop
The workshop explores material processes that support an architecture of volume. It focuses specifically on modes of production that scale to architectural proportion and investigates processes that aren’t constrained by the limitations of sheet-based materials.

Robotic Hot Wire Cutting, a vaulting structure, will be erected by casting concrete from EPS molds. A third robotic cell is cutting stone using a hydraulic-powered diamond wire saw, exploring the potential of robotic masonry. 

The workshop will provide participants with a unique chance to explore large scale robotic fabrication and will provide useful insights on the production process of robotic fabrication.
Robotics in Architecture       
While non-standard design has traditionally been associated with costly manufacturing methods, robotic hotwire cutting (RHWC) breaks with this trend, given that complex formwork can be delivered for the approximate cost of normative formwork. As such, RHWC is both an enabler, technically, in terms of forms that can be produced, and economically since this can be achieved at little or no additional expense. With the many ongoing predicaments in the construction industry and the modest cost of delving into robotics, this is an important aspect open to further exploration. 

Robotic fabrication presents a development platform for such considerations, given the trade-off of precision, ease of integration and programming, robustness, and market availability. As the technology has begun to gain acceptance in the building fabrication industry (admittedly, it remains a very small fraction), these methods have started challenging what type of construction can be delivered within a given budget.

For more info or to sign up, please visit the
ROB|ARCH 2012 web site.
For a video impression of an earlier workshop held at Hyperbody’s robot lab, please see this link.

[1] Coordinator robotic fabrication lab Hyperbody, PhD researcher TU Delft, co-founder Odico, co-founder EZCT Architecture & Design Research
[2] Co-founder Matter Design, director FABLab, Lecturer University of Michigan

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