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.
Image credits: © Gensler
Jorge Barrero – Vice President/Senior Designer – HKS
Jorge Barrero is a Senior Designer and Vice President with global architecture firm HKS. He has 18 years of experience in the field of architecture design, visualization, computation and fabrication. Previously, he worked at Gensler as a Senior Designer and Firmwide Digital Design leader. He has served as adjunct faculty at Harrington College of Design teaching a digital design studio. He has been a word contributor for 3D World Magazine and his work has been published in the EXPOSE digital art book series. He has participated in various speaking engagements, most recently at the inaugural Design Visualization LIVE event at Autodesk University as well as Xconomy, CTBUH and Vray Days events.
His project experience is varied, ranging from aviation projects to high performance building towers. One of his most recent projects while working at Gensler, he was the design leader for the first 3D printed building currently under assembly in Dubai. This unique project presented many opportunities and challenges to explore the limits of 3D printing technology in the architecture and construction industry. He continues to explore the process of design aided by digital tools and technology in order to create a design solution that creates a better user experience for all.