AUTOMATED LEGUMES

Robots built this ultra-thin building that looks like a giant peanut

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Robotically fabricated exhibition hall by the University of Stuttgart
Photo by ICD/ITKE/IIGS University Stuttgart

The University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Computational Design has built an ultra-thin exhibition hall that showcases the technical possibilities of computational design and robot-fabricated structures. It also looks like a giant peanut.

The building’s shell, which is made up of 243 interlocking plywood plates, is just 50 millimeters thick. Its span-to-thickness ratio is 200:1—half that of an eggshell.

The team used computer models to generate the geometry, allowing them to build with maximum efficiency. Each beech plywood panel was carefully modeled and simulated, then fabricated in three weeks by a robot that precisely cut the plates’ 7,600 finger joints. The panels were then assembled on-site over the course of a month along with the insulation, waterproofing, and cladding. Most of the wood scraps were reused in the hall’s parquet flooring.

[©(c)Roland Halbe; Veroeffentlichung nur gegen Honorar, Urhebervermerk und Beleg / Copyrightpermission required for reproduction, Photocredit: Roland Halbe]
Photo by Roland Halbe
[©(c)Roland Halbe; Veroeffentlichung nur gegen Honorar, Urhebervermerk und Beleg / Copyrightpermission required for reproduction, Photocredit: Roland Halbe]
Photo by Roland Halbe
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Photo by ICD/ITKE/IIGS University Stuttgart
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The size and position of the plates were modeled in a computer program. Courtesy ICD/ITKE/IIGS University Stuttgart.
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The plates were fabricated by a robot. Courtesy ICD/ITKE/IIGS University Stuttgart.
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Finally, the pieces were assembled on-site. Photo by ICD/ITKE/IIGS University Stuttgart.

There’s a video showing the whole process, from computer modeling to construction:

[h/t DesignBoom, Dezeen]

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