Advanced Design Studies, The University of Tokyo

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    2014 Digital Fabrication Lab Research Pavilion - STIK

    By UTokyoADS
    Dec 16, '14 9:49 PM EST

    At the Advanced Design Studies’ Digital Fabrication Lab, we have been exploring methods of integrating computational design with construction processes.

    With the advancement of technology, data has become readily available and easy to produce, while material resources and traditional craft are disappearing from our contemporary life. With Japan’s declining population, skilled labor in the building sector is projected to be insufficient to maintain and produce the architecture of the future with quality that Japan is known for. Thus, our approach is to integrate Information distribution technologies with human tasks. We seek to utilize methods of human augmentation to create a dynamic system of distributed 3D printers capable of “printing” a large-scale, on-site, formwork-less structure.

    Our proposal is a network of human-driven 3D printing devices, which we call STIK (Smart Tool Integrated Konstruction). The basic component for the system is a chopstick, ‘waribashi’ which is a recycled material collected from an industrial chopstick production process. By controlling the way that these sticks are locally distributed, we can aggregate them into a specific geometry that is inherently stable. A scanning system monitors the printing process, sending data to the network, which is compared to the overall digital target geometry. The network then feeds back to each distribution node, controlling the progress of the structure.


    • hiroo

      Hi, I happen to live in the neighbourhood and watched this pavilion unfold. However, it didn't seem like anything as sophisticated as what is described here. It looked like you were dipping clumps of chopsticks in glue, without any consideration of "specific geometry" or "inherently stable"-ness. And then it seemed you were piling them up in a pretty ad-hoc manner. I couldn't see how you were "controlling the way that these sticks are locally distributed". I didn't see any 3D-printing device. Or when you say "network of human driven 3D printing device", do you men those bunch of grad-students piling the chopsticks up? Is that why you put "printing" in parenthesis? Students were sticking individual chopsticks here and there to hold it together (I guess). It all seemed kind of messy and it was hard to see the point of all this exercise.

      So it would be nice if you have a report of the actual results of your experiment. Was it a feasibility study to see whether it was possible at all, or did you aim for some improvement over conventional construction? If there's any report, I hope you make it available to the public, so that curious neighbours like myself would be able to understand what you kids are up to! Thanks.

      Dec 24, 14 8:33 am  · 

      Hi Hiroo,

      Thanks for your question and sorry to be late to reply to you. My name is Hiro, participated in this project as a course assistant, also have developed a projection mapping system together with department of computer science.

      Your point is totally right. The description about " network of human-driven 3D printing devices" was our goal but has not developed yet. Thus the description should not be stated as it has developed already, but should clarify it was an aim. As an approach to large scale 3D printer, we have developed an alternative method without using gigantic 3D printer but guiding workers by the projection mapping system as in above. I can send the further detail of this system written in a paper and edited as a video, but cannot upload them online since they are under a blind review process. 

      Most of the process (which we call panel printing) have happened in our studio, thus what you have seen outside was a final touch-up and some fixations.

      Thanks again for your interest, and sorry again for the late reply. Luckily I have randomly hit this post. 

      Feb 11, 15 12:53 am  · 

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Founded in 2014, TーADS was established to contribute to and enhance state of the art architectural design education while cultivating architectural culture in Japan. Going beyond the legacy of Japanese pedagogy in which research is conducted in separate laboratories, TーADS is composed of interdisciplinary laboratory platforms with specific concentrations (fabrication, prototyping, media, computation, urbanism).

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