Double Curve: Fabrication Methods



| Shannon Iafrate

| Jon Bigtacion

| Ben Wilson

PROJECT | Final Installation: Double Curve Fabrication Methods

INTRODUCTION | After initially and exploring the problems of fabricating double curves on a 3-axis CNC machine, team ShJB fabricated a prototype that used multiple components linked together to constitute a complete form. From this crucial first step, they have begun an exploration of a variety of double curve fabrication processes. (If you are unfamiliar with the concept of double curves, please reference my previous post for more detailed information)

PROJECT CONCEPT | Combine a variety of different CNC milling methods of the same double curve form resulting in an installation that engages viewers experientially while also depicting the capabilities of the CNC milling machine in regard to the double curve form.

STATUS | The project is now in the 3d modelling and toolpath creation stage. The final double curve form is seen in figure 1 below.


Figure 1_Final Installation: current double curve form
Figure 1_Final Installation: current double curve form

The concept is to take this same double curve form and fabricate it on the CNC milling machine using the following milling methods:









These different construction methods will be discussed in further detail and compared/contrasted as the group progresses through the rest of the semester. It will be very interesting to see the differences and similarities between these various systems.

The group is currently finalizing the toolpath for the WAFFLE fabrication system using RhinoCAM CNC toolpath software (see Figure 2 below)

Figure 2_Waffle Fabrication System
Figure 2_Waffle Fabrication System

The waffle system is accomplished by sectioning the form into a certain number of u and v sections (x and y). At each of these intervals, a profile form is created that interlocks with all of the profile curves in the perpendicular orientation. The final system is very durable and creates a strong visual form. Something to consider when using this particular system: how do you address the void spaces between the profile curves (what do you fill the waffle with)?

NEXT STEPS |Now that the final concept and process have been decided, the next steps are simple, but time consuming: model, prototype, construct. The team already knows what types of systems they are going to create, so it is now crucial now for them to explore and prototype each system to “resolve the kinks.” By addressing this many different methods for one project, the team will need to relearn the process for each fabrication method. This ensures an interesting result, but it also ensures an interesting process.

ANALYSIS | The two big issues I foresee with this project are time and number of methodologies. By choosing to pursue 8 different fabrication methods, the group needs to learn 8 different ways to model and fabricate using the CNC machine (keeping in mind that the form they are trying to create in 8 different ways is already a difficult form to create with the CNC). There are potential issues in this pursuit including confusion when switching between processes and  overlooking fabrication issues. Time management is also key. With the remaining weeks left in the semester quickly diminishing, the group is now almost ready to fabricate the first of 8 methods of milling. This leaves a lot of 3d modeling and even more prototyping left to do…not to mention the final construction.

blogger: Kyle Post


senior architecture student

Lawrence Technological University

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