Nicholas, P, Voorderhake, D & Schork, T 2018, 'Full-scale prototype of a lightweight and robotic incrementallyformed copper facade system with standing seam connections', Proceedings of IASS Annual Symposia, IASS 2018 Boston Symposium: Structural innovation through interdisciplinary collaboration, IASS Symposium 2018: Creativity in Structural Design, International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, pp. 1-8.
Incrementally formed thin sheet metal enables lightweight structures that integrate ornament, structure and skin - a trajectory of architectural and structural opportunity initialized by Prouve, Junkers, and LeRicolais. However, where previously the need for a mold has limited rigidization to contexts of mass production, mold-less Robotic Incremental Sheet Forming (RISF) provides new opportunities for customized and bespoke panels. This paper reports on the computational design and fabrication of a lightweight and highly differentiated copper façade system, using RISF. Central concerns are the challenge of integrating customized structurally responsive geometry with design constraints typical of a metal facade, and managing the material property changes induced by the fabrication process.
Where architectural models of material typically assume stability of physical properties, geometric change implies property change in the RISF process. This paper describes a multi-scale approach to predictive and generative modelling that incorporates these variables within the design process at material and structural scales, allowing for material and fabrication informed design of a 1:1 prototype.