Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Starting the final column

Production for the final column has been started. The molds for the final are being made out of rigid insulation rather than plaster for several reasons:
1. Time. It takes seven days to prepare the plaster for mold making and out of foam, molds can be ready to use in two days.
2. There are height restrictions with the 3-axis CNC router. If molds are deeper than 5 inches, there are collisions issues with the material and the routing bit. Because of this, the molds need to be broken into sections and glued together after they are routed. This would be a difficult process with plaster.
3. Plaster molds would be made individually. By placing several molds onto one larger sheet of material, molds can be nested and use the material more efficiently than with plaster.
4. Weight and ease of maneuverability. Plaster is heavy and using foam makes it very easy to move the casts and molds around to various locations in the building a much smoother process.

There are some downsides to using foam such as not getting the same resolution that you would with plaster. Plaster has a very smooth and clean finish where the foam is a little fuzzy. For this project, picking up the tool path details are important, but the casts can be easily smoothed the day after casting.

Test Column

This is 4 pieces of a 16 piece column assembled. I was testing the process of making the panels, firing, glazing and connecting pieces to one another, so many of the other 12 pieces are being used for various tasks.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Epicurean Cast

This is the final design for the year long project. A column standing eight feet tall, made out of terra cotta using formwork that has been routed on the 3-axis CNC router. Images of the constructed column will be coming in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

International Research

As part of the research of ornament in architecture, I proposed to travel to Spain to study the architecture of Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona and The Alhambra in Granada. Thanks to the Rackham International Research Awards, I was able to make this research possible and travel abroad, allowing the work to be influenced by great pieces of architecture like the Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, Casa Mila, Park Guell, and the Alhambra. Here are a few selected images from the trip.

Sagrada Familia

Park Guell

Casa Batllo

Casa Milla (La Pedrera)

The Alhambra