Fremantle College Sculpture: Algorithmic Design Implementation

Fremantle College ‘Kaleidoscopic Wave’ – Forlano Design

The CAD/CAM digital fabrication design uses over 800 different 1.2mm thick pressed panels created by parametric 3D modelling geometry, creating two 30m long hanging sculptures which were laser cut and CNC folded, which at time of installation was accurate to within 10mm over a 30m distance.

From a supplied 3D surface model, we employed the use of a generative and graphical algorithm editor to take the ‘simple’ 800 panel surface form and create the following functionality:

  • Identification of each panel with specified preface (size and location)
  • Flanges to which each panel will mate (height with variability)
  • Hanging points for the installation (location, hole size and edge distance)
  • Fixing holes for each/every fastener (multi location, with size and qty variability)
  • Material ‘relief’ for bending and cutting operations (variability in angle of flange)
  • Collision detection to inform us of panels where flanges are expected to intersect (colour coded)
  • Minimum angle detection for highlighting problematic panels either to assemble or bend (colour coded)

What would have taken weeks to model, check and confirm was resolved in a matter of days in writing the algorithm and minutes for execution of the updated model with final geometry and with more accuracy.

The ‘trimmed’ panel geometry was then exported from Rhino 5 to Solidworks conversion to sheet metal where material thickness was applied, corner reliefs added and the 3D panel ‘unfolded’ (with allowance for material stretching and compression) to create a 2D cut file for laser cutting and finally CNC bending.

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