Recent technological advancements, cheaper machines and more efficient manufacturing processes, have expanded accessibility to smaller companies, private individuals, as well as students. A wider usage of digital and data-driven design processes resulted in the mainstream application of digital fabrication in the fields of architecture and design. It not only allows the production of customized parts and complex geometries, but also reliable and repeatable production, in a digitally connected world.
In the Introductory to Digital Fabrication Seminar, the Master in Advanced Architecture students are being prepared for their studies at IAAC, where digital manufacturing will be widely used for geometric exploration, visualization and prototyping. The introductory seminar focuses on performance and efficiency of a wide array of selected materials within digital manufacturing processes, including CNC milling, laser cutting and 3D printing.
The course enables the students to delve into the capabilities and limitations of each manufacturing process through creating a three-dimensional geometry, exploring each machine one by one at a time. This year, the conceptual task was to create a recursive module that could be aggregated in space, as a chain of infinite references of itself. Each produced prototype encompassed at least one of these recursions and demonstrated the feasibility of the chosen aggregation strategy.
To achieve that, a joinery system had to be developed for each of the three processes. Each of the machines offered its own opportunities for that investigation. Due to the different manufacturing restrictions of each process, it was necessary to come up with an individual approach to each exercise. The geometry did not have to be applied in an architectural context, however, each of the produced constructive systems allows for further interpretation and possible future application.