THE TREE OF THE FUTURE DESIGN AND AUTOMATED MANUFACTURING

Currently we find urban decoration in many emblematic places in cities where it is a trend to resort to architectural creativity that provides large-scale structures with innovative applications of new technologies. as an example we have the structural works of the renowned group Gramazio Kohler Research and ETH Zurich.

Gramazio Kohler Research and ETH Zurich are the designers of another wooden construction known as the ‘Future Tree’. It had a planning of two years and for its construction it took 4 months the manufacture was developed as indivisible and digital processes.

This fascinating structure in 3D printing had two important components that marked the design and development of the structure. The first component The reinforced concrete column was built using a novel manufacturing process that combines an ultra-thin formwork, 3D printed with a 1.5-millimeter thick formwork made by an industrial robot from universal robots where it was then filled with hardening concrete. fast in a layer-by-layer casting process to minimize hydrostatic pressure. The diamond-shaped tissue arrangement helped stabilize the spine during impression and casting

The structure of the branch of the tree of the future or canopy was built in acetylated pine wood joined by screws formed by 380 resistant pieces that extends over an area of ​​107 square meters and rests on the column. the assembly work was delegated to a six axis heavy duty kuka robot combined with a vertical linear axis

The project had a unique geometry cut to size based on digital model data. Supported on the concrete column, it is anchored to the courtyard of the building on two sides and cantilevered at the opposite corner.

The structure was programmed and estimated by the algorithm, including an automated data exchange between the architect’s modeling software (rhino) and the engineer’s structural analysis application (sofistik, autodesk RSA).

Gramazio kohler. Explain; “The computational model also facilitated a concurrent design approach, allowing different levels of detail (LOD) and disciplines to be solved and coordinated at the same time.”

“For example, the geometry of the screws connecting the wooden elements was developed in parallel to the overall design, so that both structural integrity, architectural design and manufacturability could be continuously ensured.”

The structure is located in esslingen, switzerland and spans the courtyard of basler & hofmann, a swiss consulting firm of AEC that is also a client and partner of the project. ”

The ETH zurich research group led by Fabio Gramazio and Matthias Kohler has been at the forefront of digital fabrication in architecture since its inception in 2005.