Wednesday, February 18, 2015

My Digitally Fabricated World

Issue 10- Fabricating My Thesis
By: Don Olsen

Welcome back everyone. So this week we are having our first thesis presentations. Since the last time I wrote about my thesis things have changed some. The current direct I would like to take my thesis is to design a multistory, modular, friction fit, housing kit that can be directly analyzed for cost, waste, and building efficiency. The housing kit would be designed to be flat pack and all the parts need to complete the progress would CNCed sheets of 3/4" plywood. The only tools required to complete the project would be a rubber mallet and a CNC (unless the kit was purchased pre-cut). There are many benefits to this type of design and fabrication; some of these include building time frame, lessened need for skilled labor, and the cost/waste ratio. Beyond just doing research thus far I have been able to talk with Larry Sass, a professor of architecture at MIT. Currently professor Sass and Lujie Chen from the Singapore University of Technology and Design are creating a software designed to add friction fit tabs and planar surfaces to any 3D object. Larry Sass was responsible for the New Orleans House project done for an exhibit at MOMA in New York I have previously written about. Currently professor Sass is one of the leading experts pushing this construction typology. The parts I hope to add to this research is the creation of a friction fit structure that is multi story and can be developed as a kit of parts. Currently all the friction fit structures that have been done are single story and have been tested to with stand 140mph winds. I hope to develop a two to three story building able to withstand similar wind load test. I would like to prove that this construction typology is both efficient and viable as an option for rapid creation of many homes. The image in figure one is a simple kit that Larry Sass developed, for one of his classes at MIT, that required 132 sheets of plywood to complete. When I started to work out my thesis I looked at the creation of an entire building as a series of connections. Each connection is an important part of the greater whole. So I looked at creating the whole as an individual examination of each connection type. I started with the corners and tried to solution how to build the corners in a number of ways. The two solutions I developed can be seen in figures 2 and 3. Upon a closer look you will see that during the development of each design option the issues were highlighted and again re-examined. The column on the right of each figure tries to solve the issues of the assembly process with changes that either work better or solve problems that exist in the assembly process. Well more to come in the future regarding 
the thesis and its progress. Till next time keep fabricating. 

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