Carnegie Mellon University
manuelr_masters_architecture_2018.pdf (4.52 MB)

Multi-Resolution in Architectural Design and Robotic Fabrication: Novel resolution based computational method and Free Oriented Additive Manufacturing technique

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posted on 2018-05-08, 00:00 authored by Manuel Rodríguez Ladrón de GuevaraManuel Rodríguez Ladrón de Guevara
Digital technology has already started to use excess data and computation to design and fabricate reality as it appears. The resolution of detail is closer to nature than ever, with all of its apparent randomness and irregularity. The standardization of the Industrial Revolution is obsolete—additive technology now allows us to individually design, calculate, and fabricate each voxel.

According to Mario Carpo, as each digital voxel is individually 3D printed, there is no need to make any voxel-generated volume identical to any other. Just as 20 years ago we learned that we could laser print one thousand different pages, or one thousand identical copies at the same unit cost, today we can 3D print any given volume of a given material at the same volumetric cost, based on its resolution, not on geometry or configuration.

The computational part of this research develops the concept of Arxel©, and its implementation in construction technology, within its context in a proposed Multi-Resolution Methodology of design. Arxel is a digital architecture unit that may provide insight in the construction of digital architectures through the lens of genotype and phenotype but particularly through the lens of economy, fundamental in providing sustainable alternatives.

3D Printed cellular and lattice-like structures are potential to large-scale robotic construction because of their light weight multifunctional application. In order to break the constraint of horizontal stacking principal, the effect of orienting the extrusion direction on non-layer spatial fused deposition modeling is studied.

The fabrication part of this research presents a novel Additive Manufacturing application of Fused Deposition Modeling on varying spatial conditions, varying deposition direction and varying geometry to adapt to complex infrastructure conditions.

Free Oriented Additive Manufacturing provides a fabrication technique for architectural speculation of previously unexploited spaces, providing the means for reconfiguring and bonding new qualities to existing infrastructures. It has the potential to produce complexity of form, bespoke performance and mass instantiations.

This proposed technique is tested under four case studies, each one using a different combinatory of resolution-based computational design methods and fabrication workflow setups of the same robotic cell.

These case studies demonstrate the conception of detaching 3D printing processes to horizontal work beds, explain its fabrication process, test over existing porous surfaces, and conclude by evaluating the robotic implementation in additive manufacturing applications by means of reachability, flexibility and benefits of compactness of the end of the arm tool (EOAT)




Degree Type

  • Master's Thesis


  • Architecture

Degree Name

  • Master of Science (MS)


Jeremy Ficca

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