Rethinking formwork for cementitious materials workshop

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For more than a decade, various types of Digital Concrete processes e.g., extrusion-based concrete 3D printing, Shotcrete 3D Printing, Smart Dynamic Casting, Eggshell, and flexible formwork systems have emerged, with the fundamental goal of finding more efficient ways to build. The workshop aims to give an insight on such novel-processes, which enables us to rethink formwork for concrete. A mini exercise will involve an iteration between the digital and the physical realms.

We will produce small scale “physical prototypes”. This will offer a means for validation and assessment of our digital model, while providing data for iterative refinement of our methods. This exercise will introduce a material and fabrication aware workflow tool and enable us to start exploring the architectural potential of ultra-thin formworks.

The ultra-thin formworks are composed of 300mm * 300mm* Imm wax paper and 10 mm thick wood frames, which of course could also be envisioned in a larger scale. The panel is cast in two steps in order to avoid formwork damage from hydrophobic pressure. The component design is done in Rhino and Grasshopper, which enables the user to explore design with a simulation 3D engine. The entire workflow ends up with a digital feedback process which is used to evaluate the physical model by comparing the simulation and digital model from panel scanning. The deviation outcome will then be feedback to the design component again to correct the imprecision of the model.

Simulation model
Digital model
Deviation map
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Research team:

Ping-Hsun Tsai, Selen Ercan Jenny, Eliott Sounigo, Prof. Dr. Ena Lloret-Fritschi