Today’s guest blog is from Zachary Kron, Architectural Designer and Software Analyst for Autodesk.
Have you ever seen those elegant, light masonry arches that seem impossibly thin? Along with a little mortar to just help things stick together, they only use gravity and careful form making to stand up. How can you find that kind of arched form where the bricks are held together by gravity? And how could you make a cool 3D model of it?
I did a little masonry experiment in Autodesk® Project Vasari, a design tool for creating building concepts that is freely available for download as a Technology Preview from Autodesk Labs. Along with integrated analysis for solar, energy, and carbon data, Vasari includes a physics based form finding tool called Nucleus. This feature allows designers to simulate gravity, wind, constraints, and collisions on surfaces with different physical properties. Combined with the paneling tools in Vasari, I was able to simulate a compression masonry structure.
In most fabrication scenarios, assembling this sort of structure out of individual pieces would be a nightmare of numbering, finding neighboring pieces, and creating temporary scaffold structures. In this experiment, however, the entire assembly was printed out on a Z Corp ZPrinter 450 pre-assembled, and the “scaffolding” was simply vacuumed out from underneath. No assembly required!
This form was relatively conservative in terms of stressing the compression system and creating tight joints. Next time we run this experiment, we’ll try creating a more pronounced gap on a more dynamic form.
- ▼ April (4)