IMD _Institute of Media and Design

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ROBOTIC DESIGN LAB | Master Research Project | Intrinsic Acoustics in 3D Printing

The future of robotic additive manufacturing of architectural components, whether on site or in a factory, is currently rising questions about inherent material properties, scale and the new kind of material control architects will gain from this new paradigm. Apart from obvious issues like statics, construction techniques and geometric limitations other perspectives arise around the degrees of freedom gained from the robots and the codes by which we operate them.

In this project, the inherent properties of the materials define the coefficients of the material before iterating a series of designs. A Grasshopper script (with a Galapagos-Solver) optimizes the wall designs with the aim of reducing the reverberation time of a given space. The factors influencing the acoustic wall are the degree of detail (resolution), the material chosen, the wall size and the frequencies recorded in the room during a day. The level of detail is generated through a point grid, which can be varied by the number of rows and columns. The denser the grid, the higher the resolution of the wall, (which will of course also bear consequence to the diffusion properties of the wall, as the number of differentiated angles within the geometry will increase.). In order to further optimize this acoustic wall, the frequencies are again subdivided into frequency groups and each receives different factors, which are multiplied by the frequencies in the respective group. These factors are determined by the evolution calculation in an attempt to generate a specific reverberation time. The wall size, the material and the point resolution influence this evolution calculation.

The case of acoustic information as being “woven” into the material and geometry is merely one of many aspects that can feed the code and make an imprint on the form. Whether or not this will be readable or whether or not architectural praxis will develop further in this direction is not yet predictable, but certainly the research opens up to a whole new thinking about code and material in architecture.

Student work: Annahita Meshkini
Directed by: Caroline Høgsbro

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