Robotically Fabricated Ice Formwork: An Exploration on Casting Morphologically Programmed Complex Concrete Elements with Robotically Milled Ice Formworks


This document focuses on the exploration of casting complex concrete architectural elements with ice formwork. Replacing conventional concrete formwork with ice formwork,allows to produce architectural elements with complex geometries in a highly controlled off-site production process,with almost complete use of the mold material. Usingdigitallydrivenfabricationtoolssuchasaroboticarmmilling,the goal is to achieve 3d shapes made from one or more ice molds, able to be stacked, assembled and merged together in order to define architectural partitions. One of the main instigators of this research is the sustainability, showcased both through the usage of ice as a mold material that is 100% reusable, and the unique ability of the described process to produce topology optimized shapes in concrete, which reduces the use of this high carbon footprint material to to bare minimum. Ice formwork allows furthermore,to create bespoke shapes for every single element in an efficient way. This opens new avenues for architectural design and construction. This project uses a design based research methodology, where each physical iteration is carefully evaluated against the digital model, embracing morphological material programming.

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