Infomred Robotic 3D Printing


Design to Robotic Production System for Ceramic 3D Printing

This project illustrates the development of a materially informed Design-to-Robotic-Production (D2RP) process for additive manufacturing aiming to achieve performative porosity in architecture at various scales, ranging from architectural (macro) to material (micro) levels. An extended series of experiments on materiality, fabrication and robotics were designed and carried out resulting in the production of a one-to-one scale prototypes. In this context, design materiality has been approached from both digital and physical perspectives. At digital materiality level, a customized computational design framework is implemented for form finding of compression only structure combined with a material distribution optimization method. Moreover, the chained connection between parametric design model and robotic production setup has led to a systematic study ofaspects of physicality that cannot be fully simulated in the digital medium.

In order to close the loop from design to one-to-one scale fabrication, the D2RP applies three case studies for the development of a customized robotic 3D printing technology: Multi-coloured light robotic 3D printing, robotic pattern studies, and ceramic robotic printing. Light robotic 3D printing studies robotic motion and defines the boundaries of the digital design-space in relation to the physical solution-space. In addition, by numerically controlling the on-off light pattern and light colours the team reached the goal of further extending design possibilities in such a way that multiple materials can be deposited at certain coordinates based on the information extracted from the virtual 3D geometry. The robotic pattern project focuses on drawing geometric patterns and novel methods of continuous material deposition that explore variation in densities and resolutions in order to reach the desired porosity. The ceramic robotic printing study explores possibilities of production of 3D printed building fragments  and establishes a production method where all parameters are calibrated for the developed physical production setup.

While developing a customised D2RP system, the team achieved optimisation in motion path generation. Comparing to common 3D printing methods that employ non-differentiated routines for slicing and ordering material layers into motion paths, the prototype was produced embedding fabrication potentialities and constraints into the design. In brief, the developed method picks an starting point and recursively search in the extracted point cloud to generate a continuous curve for material deposition. It must be noted that, although the computational 3D model comes close to the actual prototype, the two entities remain different mainly due to emergent material properties. The emergent aesthetics inherent to the physical prototype is as much due to the 3D layering technique as it is due to how material extrusion varies along the path and the created 3D material architecture. By applying the computational design system, the team was  able to generate multiple configurations, in each distributing the compression-only material where needed and as needed.


Project Credits:

Image Credits: Sina Mostafavi, Henriette Bier and Robotic Building team of Hyperbody at TU Delft

Acknowledgment: This project has profited from the contribution of the Robotic Building team (authors, Ana Anton and Serban Bodea) and Hyperbody MSc 3 students from fall semester 2014. The project has been sponsored by 3TU.Bouw Center of Excellence for the Built Environment, Delft Robotic Institute, 100% Research office of TU Delft and ABB Benelux.