Form Follows Flow: A Material-driven Computational Workflow For Digital Fabrication of Large-Scale Hierarchically Structured Objects

Laia Mogas-Soldevila, Jorge Duro-Royo, Neri Oxman


In the natural world, biological matter is structured through growth and adaptation, resulting in hierarchically structured forms with tunable material computation. Conventional digital design tools and processes,by contrast, prioritize shape over matter, lacking integration between modeling, analysis,and fabrication. We present a novel computational environment and workflow for the design and additive manufacturing of large-scale hierarchically structured objects. The system, composed by custom multi-barrel depositionattached to robotic positioning, integrates material properties,fabrication constraints and environmental forces to design and construct full-scale architectural components. Such components are physically form-found bydigitally extruding natural polymers with functionally graded mechanical and optical properties informed by desired functionality and executed through flow-based fabrication. In this approach, properties such as viscosity, velocity, and pressure embed information intwo-dimensional printing patternsandinduce three-dimensional shape formation of the fabricated part. As a result, the workflow associates physical material and fabrication constraints to virtual design tools for modeling and analysis, challenging traditional design workflows and prioritizing flow over form. Access CFP here.

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