Robotic Fabrication of an architectural element proposal
Master Study Project, 1 semester
Universität Stuttgart, ITECH M.Sc. Programme
Supervisors: Prof. A.Menges, Prof.J.Knippers, Prof. J.Nebelsick, D.Correa, M.Prado, S.Parascho, V.Kozlowski, M.Dörstelmann, G.Schieber.
Yuliya Baranovskaya (RU),
Paul Poinet (FR),
Maria Yablonina (RU),
Yassmin Al-Khasawneh (JO)
A spider web (or corbweb) is a device created by a spider out of proteinaceous spider silk extruded from its spinnerets.
Most spiders have three pairs of spinnerets, each having its own function – there are also spiders with just one pair and others with as many as four pairs. Webs allow a spider to catch prey without having to spend energy on running it down.
The tensile strength of spider silk is greater than the same weight of steel. Its microstructure is under investigation for potential applications in industry, including bullet-proof vests and artificial tendons. Researchers have used genetically modified mammals to produce the proteins needed to make this material.
From the very beginning of the research on spider webs we agreed to not concentrate on the material of the web, but look into the construction process of a three dimensional web. As far as there is not much research done on that topic in biological world, we decided to try and analyse it ourselves.
First thing we would need for that would be a spider. We had to find a species that would match all our requirements. First of all, it has to be a spider that produces a web with complex multifunctional structure. It has to be big enough for us to be able to analyse its behaviour without any special equipment. And last but not the least; it had to be relatively easy to get in Germany. With the help from our colleagues from biological program at the University of Tübingen, we eventually chose a very wide spread in Europe spider Tegenaria Attica.
It builds funnel webs that do not contain glue. The web can be classified into 4 main parts: shelter, (where spider spends most of his time waiting for the prey), nest (where spider lays its eggs. Normally situated inside or very close to the shelter), supporting threads (series of structurally strong elements that support nest and shelter in space) and general network of threads (which are used for spotting the prey, as the spider itself is almost blind.
In the first week of the research we got 3 spiders: Jeff, Diane and Sparky.
As we got the spiders into our possession, we started thinking of how we analyse their behaviour. Obvious method would be documenting the web in photos and watching spider behaviour at different stages of web creation. Nevertheless those methods would not let us analyse thread orientation in the web or understand the working principles of supporting threads and how the spider lays them. Our interest at that moment could be summarised into one question. Which is the first thread?
To be able to map the step by step process we came up with a system to track spider movements. We built a box for the spider to create the web in and surrounded it with 3 cameras that would take a picture of whatever is happening in the box every 2 seconds. All the images are analysed by the software that we created. Software compares every next image to the original image of the empty box. It finds a changed area, which is the outline of spider body. It creates a point in the middle of the area and gives us coordinates of that point on the image as a text file. Using those coordinates in all 3 images and knowing the position of the cameras in space in a relationship to the box, we can triangulate 3D position of the spider at every given moment. At the moment, the software is still being developed. So far we have created a program that snaps images every 2 seconds, script that analyses and finds the positions of the points in 2d, At the moment work on transforming 2d coordinates into 3d polyline is still on-going.
Scanning the web
Second step of analysing the webs was to try to understand the geometry in detail. Capturing the web with a normal camera turned out to be a very difficult task, especially on early stages of web creation, when threads are quite far from each other and the surface is not dense enough.
Using the initial tracking setup with 3 cameras, we added an infrared laser beam to the system. Moving the horizontal laser beam surface through the box with a 5 mm step we captured an image at every step. Raw output of that process is 40 images of horizontal spider web sections. Analysing them digitally and combining together in a multi-layered system allowed us to recreate general geometry of a real spider web digitally. What we did not expect though was that the scan not only gave us the general geometry, but also the thread orientation inside the web.
Spending some time researching the spiders we defined two key points of interest for us to develop further architecturally. Both aspects are closely related, they are parts of one system in different scales. On a global scale we have been looking at the concept of supporting threads in the spider web - part that structurally supports dense elements of the web. On a local scale supporting threads are very dependent on the joints between the threads. So far in fibre fabrication of the pavilions we have been using stiff materials as formwork (metal/wooden effectors), concept of supporting threads could have completely replaced that system, which would allow us to save time and money on the fabrication of the formwork. Creating a system with fibrous formwork requires a new system of fixing fibers in place. if before we used to hook carbon and glass fiber to the screws, now we would have to figure out a new system of connecting the fiber to formwork : fiber to fiber connection. We are hoping that analyzing these concepts in spider web can help us develop new fabrication methods and tools for working with fibers.
Abstracting the joints.
Fibre to fibre interaction hasn’t been fully explored in the fibre fabrication industry yet. We have seen many examples of joints in textile and textile-based structures, but if we want to create a system with individual threads connecting with each other in a certain pattern and at specific points, there is no special tool for that.
After analysing different types of joints and its fabrication process, we started to think about how we can implement new knowledge into robotic fabrication with carbon fibre, glass fibres and resin. One of the key aspects of spiders method of fabrication is the special glue that is uses to produce joints instantly. In our case that system has to be replaced with a different method We abstracted spider’s thread to thread interaction techniques into 3 types of joints and the ways we can produce them. Our aim was to develop a tool for each type of joint that will allow us to connect two threads at any required point. First type of the joint is the “twisted joint”. In this case 2 threads are passed around each other. Second joint type is the “wrapped joint“when pone thread is passed around another one. Third type of joint is the “Intertwined joint“(pinched). Here we have 2 threads tangled around each other but not really passed around each other.
Joint tool 01. Wrapper. (prototype)
Joint tool 01 is introducing an entirely new system of joint fabrication. It allows creating a wrapped joint Key feature of this tool is that it allows passing one thread around another without having to pass it from one robot arm to another.
The main problem that we have faced with this tool is that the bobbin with fibres has to be placed on the tool itself, which limits the geometry of the final design. Gaps in-between the supporting threads always have to be big enough to pass the bobbin in-between them. If on the other hand we use a smaller bobbin, we get less limited in geometry, but would have to replace the bobbin very often because of the short length of the thread. It is also possible to use the tool for joining the fibres with a third fibre. Than the thread that sits on the tool is only used for joints themselves and the “working“ thread spool is situated somewhere next to the robot arm, but not necessarily on it. In that case we would need to solve the problem of cutting the joint thread every time we create a joint. Also we would need to think about instant curing, otherwise joint would loosen the moment we cut the joining thread. For this we suggest to use preimpegnated fibres and UV lamp for instant joint curing installed on a tool itself. Joint tool prototype is brought to movement with a stepper motor Nemo16 which is controlled via the Arduino board.
Joint tool 02. Twister. (prototype)
Joint tool 02 works on the same principle of rotating gear with a gap inside as Joint 002. But the “Twister” creates a completely different type of joint. The tool creates a “twisted“ joint by placing 2 threads into 2 separate gaps in the rotating element and wrapping them around each other. Unlike tool 002 this one doesn’t require a bobbin placed on the tool. That allows a certain geometrical flexibility both on a design and fabrication stage. At the moment prototype is 160 mm in diameter but we believe that it i possible to create a much smaller one so that the tool can reach everywhere even in a very complex structure. This tool requires instant joint curing. Just like in the previous case we suggest using preimpregnated fibres and UV curing lamps installed on the tool itself. Joint tool prototype is brought to movement with a stepper motor Nemo16 which is controlled via the Arduino board.
Digital model 003
Digital model 003 brings model 002 into a 3D shape. Going back to the dome shape, we break it up into layers and approximate each layer using methods developed in the Digital Model 002. After creating frames that are formed by supporting threads and the curve approximation, we fix the system by attaching the layers together. For that we use a zigzag pattern that we have seen in the spider behaviour, In that way we create an easy to control system, adapting spider web principles of supporting and overlaying threads. In the real scale production of the system (for example as a pavilion) we suggest that the tools that we have mentioned before will be used in the production process. Tool 002 is used to build the supporting threads and curve approximation and tool 003 for overlaying zigzag threads.
Physical model 003
Realizing the physical model that is based on the digital one was our naturally logical next step, basically we had the working drawings, of the digital model, exploded into sections. We also autotomized our method according to the following steps:
1- Building the wooden framework.
2- Installing transparent threads for external support on the surface area of the box, step size of 50 mms. 3- Installing the “Supporting threads”, fixed to the environment, with 4 anchor points. They are considered the structural base of the whole model.
4- Adding the “Approximation Polyline”, the deforming lines were added on the frames with a certain tension in 10 different anchor points, in each corner with a certain step size.
5- A crucial part, was to completely cure the beam like corners, because we needed to treat the product as a whole, rather than leaving the threads to behave individually in unpredicted manner.
6- The resulting deformed sections were then stitched together with one longitudinal polyline running across the whole product, giving it shape, and form.
7- The last was basically laying on the truss like system, that would ensure the product was covered and resulting in a performing shape. The laying procedure, was exploded into two steps, one for the upper area, and one for the bottom area.
8- After curing the whole model, we are able to detach the thread work out of the supporting threads.
We experimented this method on two physical model, one had the characteristics of a vault, basically a positive curvature shape. The second model, had both negative and positive curvatures. We conclude that this method is most suitable, for replacing the heavy costly metal supportive structures, with a light quick and easily assembled thread one. Moreover, once the core of the model is fully cured, it becomes self-standing and structurally stable.
The competition on creating exhibition space was announced by a photo-company FOTOLAND. The main aim was to adapt empty industrial space for being able to exhibit exposures.
Tetris-stage - is the main object, that organize the whole space. Depending on how the stage will be using it could be transformed to different positions. All variants of changing is shown below.
During day time the middle part of the space can be used as exhibition or performance stage. In the evenings for the parties it can be transformed to dance floor. Modular elements can be easy rearranged.
Tutors: Miguel Setas (PT), Maja Lesnik (HR), Stefan Jovicic (RS), Darko Krstewski (MK)
Yuliya Baranovskaya (RU)
Celia Lopez Barvo (ES)
Suzana Plachkova (MK)
Akeksandra Poljanec (HR)
Geoffrey Cox (CA)
Zarina Belousova (RU)
Lena Kohlmayr (AT)
Nunzio Bonina (IT)
Sophie van Dorsten (NL)
Zoltan David Kalaszi (HU)
Arianna Dalla`albero (IT)
Willem Barendregt (NL)
Priscilla Girelli (CH)
Sergii Lushchyk (UA)
Anastasiia Budnyk (UA)
Helper: Kieran Donellan (IE)
The year is 2012, and the old Mayans have predicted apocalypse. Mankind is on it’s peak and so is the pollution. Due to global warming icebergs are melting, causing disasters and leaving survived in an everlasting flooded wasteland.
As contemporary Noah’s, our team deals with what comes after. We envision to build a prototype, of a post-apocalyptic treehouse – elevated on structures found in surrounding landscape (trees). We give a solution, not only in imaginary scenario but also for a very real and less fortunate areas struck by natural disasters. A prototype of the treehouse, built in 1:1 scale.
Internship at OBSERVATORIUM, Rotterdam, NL spring 2013
Merel Noëlle Snoek (NL),
Yuliya Baranovskaya (RU),
Landa van Vliet,
Jacqueline de Kloet
This landscape is a governmental comissions about improving public spaces. Jan Evertsenplaats is located in the very heart of the Rotterdam, in 2 min walk from quite active places of the city: Schouwburgplein and Lijnbaan. So project was aiming to create public space that will let people (especially who is living in the residence buildings around) escape from the tempestuous and constantly running lifestyle of the citycenter of Rotterdam.
Aim of the project was to rethink Sibirskaya street in context of neighbor urban environment and in terms of lacking functions in this area. Our proposal is following the idea to make “Touristic street”. There are several reasons for that. Novosibirsk is quite a new city, but already it is a capital of Siberian region, very developed and has active business and industrial life. Every day many people are coming to Novosibirsk for different reasons and for different amount of time. What we are proposing is to let these people to see city through Sibirskaya street. Depending on how long guests of the city are staying they can choose suitable route for exploring city. Exploration starts here, on Sibirskaya street: museums, cultural centers, language clubs, public zones, observing tower…
Pioneer camps were extremely popular in Soviet time (30-80x) and still keep nostalgia memories in heads of russian people. Tradition to bring children for couple of weeks to summer camp is still alive in Russia an very healthy for developing communicative skills of young people.
Canteen is supposed to be a place of concentration teenages in the summer hot days in the camp. Two zones of open air canteen give a choice to stay outside or hide from sun or rain inside.
Location of the object is a cultural park MUSEON, in front of the national Gallery of Modern Art (Moscow, Russia)
The idea of the object is to attract walking in the park people to step by into pavillion, have a cup of te of coffe with nice book of russian literature. We are proposing cozy, comfortable pavillion on road crosses. Visitors can enjoy reading, watching small concerts or lectures. Space is transformative, depending on the event that is hosted in the pavillion. Amount of sitting places can range between 31-95 places. Storage space can easily keep extra chairs.
*All images for the porfolio are made by Yuliya Baranovskaya
The purpose of the 3-day workshop was to re-think the idea of path and create the object or small space according to that theme.
Actually path is the way. We do it every day, going from one place to another. And, especially in the city, sometimes we want to escape noise, crowd and urban flow.
The pavillion proposal is an urban furniture with the function of long rest. People can go inside (fits two people), lay down, see the sky, read book or magazine, relax. You won`t see what`s going outside the pavillion, only celine will be open and then you will feel really hidden from city vanity.
*UNDERSURFACE BOX - this name shows, that being inside you might feel yourself under-the-surface of ourside, escaping the city, escaping urban rush and noise.
Supervisor: Prof. Deev Nikolay, architect Deev architects
Team: Yuliya Baranovskaya
The suggested area of a project is the central but still quiet borough of Novosibirsk, Russia. The dwelling complex contains 9 blocks of flats and a wavelike public commercial building.
Shape of the building came up as a solution of safe yard space inside. Enclosed shape gives a possibility to keep flats on ground floor, by facing them to yard, and move public facilities more close to the street. Wavelike public building by its dynamic shape becomes «a wall» between street and yard.
All residential complex contain 14 types of flats; from 1-room flat for 1-2 persons, till big 4-rooms flat for 3 generation families. Flats are easily isolated but day light and each one has balcony. On the ground floor there are bicycle and pram rooms.