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id acadia18_434
authors Meibodi, Mania Aghaei ; Jipa, Andrei; Giesecke, Rena; Shammas, Demetris; Bernhard, Mathias; Leschok, Matthias; Graser, Konrad; Dillenburger, Benjamin
year 2018
title Smart Slab. Computational design and digital fabrication of a lightweight concrete slab
source ACADIA // 2018: Recalibration. On imprecisionand infidelity. [Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) ISBN 978-0-692-17729-7] Mexico City, Mexico 18-20 October, 2018, pp. 434-443
summary This paper presents a computational design approach and novel digital fabrication method for an optimized lightweight concrete slab using a 3D-printed formwork. Smart Slab is the first concrete slab fabricated with a 3D-printed formwork. It is a lightweight concrete slab, displaying three-dimensional geometric differentiation on multiple scales. The optimization of slab systems can have a large impact on buildings: more compact slabs allow for more usable space within the same building volume, refined structural concepts allow for material reduction, and integrated prefabrication can reduce complexity on the construction site. Among the main challenges is that optimized slab geometries are difficult to fabricate in a conventional way because non-standard formworks are very costly. Novel digital fabrication methods such as additive manufacturing of concrete can provide a solution, but until now the material properties and the surface quality only allow for limited applications. The fabrication approach presented here therefore combines the geometric freedom of 3D binderjet printing of formworks with the structural performance of fiber reinforced concrete. Using 3D printing to fabricate sand formwork for concrete, enables the prefabrication of custom concrete slab elements with complex geometric features with great precision. In addition, space for building systems such as sprinklers and Lighting could be integrated in a compact way. The design of the slab is based on a holistic computational model which allows fast design optimization and adaptation, the integration of the planning of the building systems, and the coordination of the multiple fabrication processes involved with an export of all fabrication data. This paper describes the context, design drivers, and digital design process behind the Smart Slab, and then discusses the digital fabrication system used to produce it, focusing on the 3D-printed formwork. It shows that 3D printing is already an attractive alternative for custom formwork solutions, especially when strategically combined with other CNC fabrication methods. Note that smart slab is under construction and images of finished elements can be integrated within couple of weeks.
keywords full paper, digital fabrication, computation, generative design, hybrid practices
series ACADIA
type paper
full text file.pdf (8,871,381 bytes)
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