Programmed Matter was completed as part of a robotics seminar which studied generative design algorithms, structural form-finding, agent-based scripting, physics-based simulations and various other means of digital production and analysis. The course, and the work produced, paired form and material studies with robotic construction methods to begin to study new means of digital architectural fabrication.
Before producing a printed clay structure, robotic constraints were analyzed and tool paths were cataloged and evaluated for their potential physical affects and material capabilities. Extrusion force, robotic arm speed and gravity were just some of the factors that had to be considered. After developing a series of scripted robotic motion trajectories, the instructions were read by a robotic arm extruding clay to produce a three-dimensionality printed shell structure (pictured right).
Through manipulating the variables within a python script the trajectory by which the program would trace a circular outline could be manipulated. By editing different parameters within the script various silhouettes could be generated.
Through manipulating the variables within a python script the trajectory of the robotic armature could be manipulated. By varying the rules of the contouring, a series of patterned shells could be programmed to be printed in extruded clay.
ROBOTIC EXTRUSION PROCESS
Similar to 3D-printing with plastics, the robotic operation of extruding clay operated with the same logic. Layer by layer the robotic armature would process the given parameters and progressively build-up the final shell-like form.
Close-ups of the physical models produced through the robotic process. The rate of extrusion, speed of the robotic armature and contour path were parameters that could all be controlled.