Digital Tooling: Contouring

Sermin Yesilada and Vijayeta Davda

Contouring is created by subtractive carving of a solid.  Carving is the traditional hand method.  Digital fabrication with a CNC router can achieve much more complex geometry.  The direction of carving depends on the router: 3, 4, or 5 axis.   Cutting tools can be attached to robotic arms to cut surfaces, as in the ceramic example below.  Hand contouring can be done with carving tools, sanders, etc.

Cons: waste of material from routing out the surface.

Contouring Bricks: Design Robotics Group, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA

Contouring Bricks: Design Robotics Group, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA

High density foam fabricated on a 5-axis CNC mill.  Urban A&O http://urbanao.com/news/?p=465

High density foam fabricated on a 5-axis CNC mill. Urban A&O http://urbanao.com/news/?p=465

Gradient Scale by SPAN Architects and Manfred Hermann.  Process:

Surface mapping with an algorithm in Maya.  http://mjrh-arch.blogspot.com/2009/12/gradient-scale.html

Surface mapping with an algorithm in Maya. Mattersync. http://mjrh-arch.blogspot.com/2009/12/gradient-scale.html

3D model in Maya.  Mattersync.

3D model in Maya. Mattersync.

Rendered model.  Mattersync.

Rendered model. Mattersync.

Foam test model.  Using different mil bits and varying the stepsizes of the milling path creates varied forms.  Mattersync.

Foam test model. Using different mil bits and varying the stepsizes of the milling path creates varied forms. Mattersync.

Final structure.  Mattersync.

Final structure. Mattersync.

Resources:

Mattersync Magazine.  “Gradient Scale.” 10 October 2005. (1 Feb 2013.)

Stefano Andreani, Jose Luis Garcia del Castillo, Aurgho Jyoti, Nathan King, and Mar-tin Bechthold.  “Flowing matter: Robotic fabrication of complex ceramic systems.” Harvard University.   (1 Feb 2013.)

Urban A&O. “Bone Wall.” <http://www.urbanao.com/&gt; (1 Feb 2013.)

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