We have already seen the dexterity of industrial robots to adapt to different tasks and processes, even those that require subtlety and dedication.
No matter the size, with today’s technological innovations, heavy-duty robots can also achieve great results with difficult-to-handle materials, even the foray of industrial robots in the art has shown that it is a useful and flexible tool for the design of many works and decorative pieces.
Designers Ron Culver and Joseph Sarafian have developed a method for molding a mixture of concrete and fiberglass into a fabric that is stretched using programmed robots.
This was an independent study initiated by Ron Culver and Joseph Sarafian at UCLA AUD where the flexibility of the fabric was harmonized with the precision of the Kuka 6-axis industrial robots to spread the fabric for casting concrete.
The “FabricForms” project works by introducing a fiberglass concrete mix into Y-shaped Lycra sleeves stretched into position by six-axis robots. This technique provides customers with testing new shapes without the need for a mold. creating different geometric shapes.
The programming systems used for this project include Grasshopper3D for stretch and motion control and Kangaroo software that empowered the adjustment so that each piece would fit together.
Once the concrete is prepared, the fabric is removed and allowed to dry for approximately 45 minutes, time in which the pieces harden, then they are fixed together with a 3D printed screw to create groups of larger pieces that could be used in the future as facades decorative or even as building structures.
The designers explain that this can be a sustainable alternative that would reduce labor and material costs, without wasting material. Additionally, it is a faster building method that would provide a suitable tool that combines the flexibility of the fabric with the precision of kuka robots to carry out an optimal parametric design.
Sarafian explains. “This casting method has implications at various scales for the construction site of the future.”
“Parametric design is increasing the need for variation, much of which is not built due to the failure of traditional construction methods to adapt to new digital technologies.”
Artists and designers work on improvements to extend the technique to achieve building-scale elements such as facades and architectural structure.