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The principal focus of this workshop's research agenda centered on investigating methodologies for the construction of free-form surface structures utilizing composite materials through the application of the 'Flexible Forming' technique. Within this context, the transformation of a doubly curved surface into a formwork was pursued, with the fabrication of said formwork serving as the pathway to realizing the envisaged surface. The design objective encompassed the creation of a pavilion that adhered to constraints regarding size, material allocation, internal spatial considerations, and construction methodologies. While the overarching concept revolved around crafting the design using a thin layer of fiber composite, the approach hinged on the integration of "Minimal Surfaces," which locally minimize their area, during the design phase. After evaluating several surface classifications, the 'Gyroid' geometry was adopted and subsequently manipulated to generate the pavilion's outer skin.
The chosen method for fabricating continuous, slender, curved surfaces was the utilization of composite materials, specifically composed of layers of glass fibers for reinforcement and polyester resin. The resultant fiberglass material would serve as the exceptionally thin surface of the pavilion. Its application would be facilitated by digitally created fabric formwork. The polyester resin comprised two essential components: a base resin and a hardener, the combination of which initiated a reaction leading to the solidification of the liquid materials into a robust plastic. Given the workshop's time constraints, this research culminated in a well-optimized formulation of resin, activator, and hardener ratios, ensuring both desired quality and expediency.
The fabrication methodology centered on the application of resin onto a cast. To streamline material usage for constructing the casts, the wooden structure was integrated with the fabric. The mesh model underwent successive relaxation steps and was further reconfigured in Kangaroo for simulating physical loads. Consequently, there was a level of confidence that affixing the tensioned fabric to the wooden framework would enable the replication of the curved surfaces designed within Rhino for fabrication purposes. The foundational wooden structures essentially comprised boxes encompassing the panel edges, fabricated from MDF sheets utilizing laser cutters.
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