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  • Anisotropic Formations

    CORTEZ, LU, TOMARA, & TROUFANOV, "Anisotropic Formations."
    los angeles CALIFORNIA

    SCI-Arc
    advisor: Peter TESTA

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    Salvador CORTEZ, Cheng LU, Avra TOMARA, & Nikita TROUFANOV: Anisotropic Formations project is a proto-architectural project that mixes robotics with vector-based 3-D printing.

    an· i· so· tro· py : the property of being directionally dependent, as opposed to isotropy, which implies identical properties in all directions.

    Anisotropic Formations project is a proto-architectural project that mixes robotics with vector-based 3-D printing. Taking inspiration from 3-D printed fashion, composite sail manufacturing and experimental application of industrial robotics, the project takes the anisotropic approach as both an aesthetic and a fabrication logic. There was also an interest in precise processes and imprecise results that would be allowed to occur due to material behaviors. Plastic extrusion was done in 3d space, forming fibrous geometries with extruded lines of plastic—as opposed to 2-dimensional layers. A flexible scaffold/mandrel was developed to serve as support structure for plastic extrusion paths. A custom extruder tool was built for depositing Polycaprolactone plastic (a low temperature reformable polymer). The first layer of extruded pattern would become a meta-scaffold that would be further transformed by the robot arms and extruded over with another pattern. Vector patterns were not 3-D modeled in a conventional sense but were generated from numeric programming of robot joint coordinates and rotation sequences. The goal was not to faithfully fabricate a predetermined digital geometry but rather to “prototype” geometry in physical space using machine procedures and material properties as generative agents. Starting from a point of total control (precise extrusion of a diagrid) we proceeded to tweak speeds, rotation sequences and temperatures to tease out new and unexpected results from the material. The result was a series of objects that demonstrated levels of control and also material agency.

    sP: What or who influenced this project?
    SC, CL, AT, & NT: 3-D printed fashion, composite sail fabrication, and 6-axis collaborative robotics.

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
    SC, CL, AT, & NT: Reading: Mario Carpo, “Pattern Recognition”; Yve-Alain Bois and Rosalind E. Krauss, Formless. Listening to: Gold Panda; Tycho; Pretty Lights; and Mad Season. Watching: Gravity.

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
    SC, CL, AT, & NT: Iris van Herpen, Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, Bot & Dolly, Anton Garcia Abril, Tom Wiscombe, Wang Shu, and Roland Snooks.

    Additional credits and links:

    The project was done as part of the Post-graduate Master of Design Research (ESTm) at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)
    Advisor: Peter TESTA.
    Robotics Lab Coordinator: Jake NEWSUM.

    [VIDEO 01]
    [VIDEO 02]

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