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Featured Workshop: Phase Change

Phase Change: Explorations in Robotic Forming of Thermoplastic Materials

This workshop will explore opportunities to overcome tooling limitations in the formation of individualized thermoplastic building components using robotic formation during phase change and speculative additive robotic processes (3D Printing). Explorations will include the translation of the rigid ideal of computational design space to the soft reality of an uncertain built environment as mediated by the industrial robotic work cell. In this case, the industrial robot precisely translates the digital geometry but the final form is characterized by the uncertainties of the thermoplastic material behavior during phase-change. The resulting artifacts will emerge from the integration of the precise and the imprecise through a feedback loop between the digital design environment and the results of a series of physical material experiments. Material properties are considered intrinsic to the design process and the robotically controlled fabrication process will be saturated by feedback from the behavioral logics of the material itself. The exploration of complex material behavior during phase-change will extend to the introduction of novel additive manufacturing technologies through the combination of generic robotic manipulators and custom end effectors. The introduction of additive processes begins to speculate on fabrication scenarios that distance themselves from current linear file-to-factory based methods and industrialized production-modes as well as introduces opportunities for the eventual introduction of Additive Manufacturing in Architecture. (….details)

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