While the ongoing development of CNC manufacturing and fabrication technologies continue to enable higher degrees of diversity and local customization, architectural envelopes comprised of a profusion of diverse components challenge conventional approaches to design, computation, documentation, coordination review and assembly. Two case studies presented explore and demonstrate the application development and file-to-factory workflow employed for building envelopes. Based on 3D printing technology from WinSun Global, insight behind the design process and technology used for the first 3D printed office building in Dubai is presented. Integration of building systems, material research and digital collaboration are some of the topics discussed. Also explored and presented is the study of a building envelope comprised of over 50,000 unique façade panels. This skin’s perforated aluminum panels, and the corresponding node connections are discussed in terms of the challenges and constraints unique to their respective geometry, fabrication processes and performance criteria. In addition, alternate node designs developed to accommodate the constraints of 3D printing are compared. Both projects demonstrate the efficacy of 3D printed alternatives, the viability of 3d printing as a fabrication method, and key developments that must be realized in order to demonstrate feasibility.
James Warton – Associate – HKS LINE
James Warton is a researcher and computational designer engaged in cutting-edge manufacturing with specialized concentration in high-resolution additive processes. He is currently focused on design-to-fabrication workflows and optimization strategies for mass-customized and highly-articulated metal structures, and is committed to the implementation of additively manufactured building-scale assemblies. He balances research pursuits and professional practice as a member of HKS|LINE and as a PhD candidate within SMU’s Research Center for Advanced Manufacturing. These efforts represent a cumulative contribution to professional and academic discourse surrounding computational design and digital fabrication, as well as serve to further application and advancement in real-world construction scenarios while expanding the field’s awareness of emerging technologies.
James received a Master’s Degree in Architecture and Urbanism from the Architectural Association’s Design Research Laboratory (DRL) and is currently enrolled as a PhD student in SMU’s Mechanical Engineering Department. He holds a research assistantship through the Research Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM), and began doctoral research to investigate technologies that will significantly reshape the building and construction landscape and its relationship to design.