Digital Rubble - Compression-Only Structures with Irregular Rock and 3D Printed Connectors

Digital Rubble - Compression-Only Structures with Irregular Rock and 3D Printed Connectors

Authors: Bastian Wibranek, Oliver Tessmann

Abstract:

Irregular materials such as unprocessed rocks and wooden branches are currently rarely used in contemporary architectural construction due to the high cost of skilled labor required for preparation. This project investigates methods of graphic statics in combination with technologies such as photogrammetry and 3D printing to build structures from natural reusable building materials. We developed a method for dry-stacking unprocessed rock. We implemented an algorithm to produce 3D printed parts that connect digitized stones in the plane normal to the thrust line. A manually designed input curve is recalculated according to the weights of the objects to generate a compression-only arch. We employed evolutionary optimization to calculate optimal orientation of digitized stones along the thrust-line. Different stone arrangements and 3D printed connectors were tested. The manual assembly is done using a mixed reality setup. Unprocessed or rubble rock is a massive resource of cheap building material with very low embodied energy that might see a revival through digital technologies.