Using Charles and Ray Eames’s famous 1950s House of Cards slotting toy as both design metaphor and structural precedent provides the starting point for a novel building logic (utilising three existing Swedish timber systems) that allows volumetrically slotted units to stack inside of and support each other. Contemporary computer-aided fabrication techniques based on evolutionary algorithms and CNC manufacturing strategies are used to produce a methodology for designing a kit-of-parts system at the scale of the skyscraper, based on the slotting together of cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels. A catalogue of novel slotting methods is produced, and a number of alternative slotted joint treatments identified that hold promising potential for further development, parametrically design and control volumes, understand the fabrication workflow and constructional sequence on site, and build prototypes of the chosen slotting configurations at scales ranging between 1:50 and 1:1.
This paper presents an integrated design tool for structures composed of engineered timber panels that are connected by traditional wood joints. Recent advances in computational architecture have permitted to automate the fabrication and assembly of such structures using Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines and industrial robotic arms. While several large-scale demonstrators have been realized, most developed algorithms are closed-source or project-oriented. The lack of a general framework makes it difficult for architects, engineers and designers to effectively manipulate this innovative construction system. Therefore, this research aims at developing a holistic design tool targeting a wide range of architectural applications. Main achievements include: (1) a new data structure to deal with modular assemblies, (2) an analytical parametrization of the geometry of five timber joints, (3) a method to generate CNC toolpath while integrating fabrication constraints, and (4) a method to automatically compute robot trajectories for a given stack of timber plates.
The widely available automated prefabrication in timber construction companies, as well as modern CAD software with application programing interfaces, allow for the design and production of increasingly geometrically complex building components. This development also enables and demands at the same time advanced joinery techniques. Analog to the developments in timber framing, this article presents the adaptation of a traditional wood-wood joinery technique from cabinetmaking, on the casestudy of a shell structure built from curved cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels. The dovetail-joints allow for a load-bearing glued joint between the CLT panels. They provide an aesthetic, visible connection and simplify the assembly through their integrated locator features.
This research is about the design process, development and fabrication of a free-form structure in crosslaminated timber (CLT) panels. Since sustainability, ecology and structural design are now relevant in any building project, the purpose of this research is to demonstrate that CLT panels can be used as an ecoresponsive strategy based on a building form. This paper presents the use of a tessellation construction system for designing and producing a freeform surface in CLT for a specific regional and industrial context. The research/creation process and the retroactive simulation generated by the parametric modelling software enabled the development of a singular architectural project where the structural aspect and the manufacturing are the inherent part of the integrated design process. Finally, the cutting files can be generated automatically for an easy transfer to CNC machine tools.
The project included product development and materials research. The aim was to produce a wooden façade system with an attractive modern appearance and good constructive design with the help of modern woodworking technology. Important requirements to consider were that the system should have a contemporary, attractive expression and that the façade system should provide a product with high quality ambitions in terms of environmental impact. It should also be flexible and easy to use for architects and designers who want to create unique façades. The main focus in this study was about the visible wood surface appearance where the intention was to create a varied surface with interesting innovative designs, with a method that make it possible to always create new patterns. Two different façade cladding systems were developed by combining woodcraft tradition, new research, digital design tools and industrial processes in the wood construction industry. Prototypes with patterned surfaces on both individual boards joined together and on a system based on multi-layer solid wood panels were tested.
The wood construction industries are becoming more focused on climate change and resource depletion, and individual and industrial consumption must reflect a greater degree of concern for the climate and environmental wellbeing. This paper presents a new concept for timber engineering, the purpose being to acquire information about the failure modes and the tensile and compressive strengths of two types of joint, the Simple Gooseneck and Thick Gooseneck, that can be used in a new concept for joining members in timber structures. This Makerjoint concept uses laminated veneer lumber (LVL) as nodes in regions with a pronounced non-uniform stress distribution and sawn timber in regions with a more uniform stress distribution. No metal fasteners or adhesives are used in the joint between timber and LVL. The concept is intended for joints using 3-axis CNC machinery and to be a system for on-site- and pre-fabrication of e.g. small houses, emergency shelters and exhibition stands. The joints have a higher compressive than tensile strength. The joints exhibited brittle failure in tension (beam and/or node failure) and buckling occurred in compression around the thinnest cross section of the beams. Suggestions are made for how the mechanical properties of the joints can be improved.