> ICD Timber Sewn Shell 2017

at Institute of Computational Design (ICD) Prof. Achim Menges, Martin Alvarez, Ivan Jimenez

with DDRC Tongji University Philip Yuan, Chai Hua

exhibited at “Mind the digital’, Design Society, Shenzhen, 2017

This project belongs to the Tailored Structures series and it proposes a novel fabrication system for thin wood shells. It aims to advance the research in robotic sewing conducted by the institutes in previous projects such as the ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2016-16.
Inspired by patterning techniques in fashion design, the wood tectonic system was made possible through this innovative production process. Martin Alvarez & Erik Martinez’s research demonstrates how the use of robotics and sensing mechanisms in combination with industrial sewing can create an entirely new way of constructing wooden structures in situ. The robotic fabrication system extends the sewing machine’s workspace allowing it to sew complex three-dimensional wood assemblies. The small puncture size of a sewing needle enables efficiently distributed joinery of thin planar materials, such as 3mm plywood, even when bent out of plane.