From Concept to Construction - A Transferable Design and Robotic Fabrication Method for a Building-Scale Vault

Isla Xi Han, Edvard P.G. Bruun, Stuart Marsh, Matteo Tavano, Sigrid Adriaenssens, Stefana Parascho

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The LightVault project demonstrates a novel robotic construction method for masonry vaults, developed in a joint effort between Princeton University and the global architecture and engineering firm Skidmore. Owings £t Merrill (SOM). Using two cooperating robotic arms, a full-scale vault (plan: 3.6 x 6.5 m. height: 2.2 m) made up of 338 glass bricks was built live at the 'Anatomy of Structure: The Future of Art + Architecture exhibition. A major component of the project was developing a fabrication method that could be easily adapted to different robotic setups since the research, prototyping, and final exhibition occurred on different continents. This called for approaches that balanced the generic and the specific, allowing for quick and flexible construction staging and execution.The paper is structured as follows. First, we introduce the notion of transferability in robotic construction and then elaborate on this concept through the four major challenges in the LightVault project development: (1) prototype scalability, (2) end-effector design, (3) path planning and sequencing, and (A) fabrication tolerances. To develop and test solutions for these challenges, we iterated through several prototypes at multiple scales, with different materials for the standardized bricks, and at three distinct locations: Embodied Computation Lab. Princeton. US: Global Robots Ltd., Bedford. UK; and Ambika P3 gallery. London. UK. While this paper is specifically tailored to the construction of masonry structures. our long-term goal is to enable more robotic fabrication projects that consider the topic of transferability as a means to develop more robust and broadly applicable techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTechnical Papers, Keynote Conversations
EditorsBrian Slocum, Viola Ago, Shelby Doyle, Adam Marcus, Maria Yablonina, Matias del Campo
PublisherACADIA
Pages614-623
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780578952130
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event40th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture: Distributed Proximities, ACADIA 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Oct 24 2020Oct 30 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture: Distributed Proximities, ACADIA 2020
Volume1

Conference

Conference40th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture: Distributed Proximities, ACADIA 2020
CityVirtual, Online
Period10/24/2010/30/20

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Hardware and Architecture

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