The paper Voxelbeam: Re-Fabricating a Structural Beam, presented at the CAADRIA 2015 Symposium, provides a detailed overview of the project.
A series of speculations on the role of optimization, fabrication and digital design in architecture, emerging from a study of the Arup Beam. The research developed in three trajectories. The first dealt with a shift from the analytical structural analysis techniques used in the mid-20th century to more digital, numerical techniques, such as Finite Element Analysis. Topology optimization was explored as a means to derive a minimum compliance structure. The second attempted to understand the fundamental difference between an analog representation of structural forces and a digital binary system of 0’s and 1’s. This aims to re-contextualize the structural beam within contemporary digital platforms. The third approach was concerned with the various digital fabrication methods of structural analysis results. Two fabrica-tion strategies were proposed in response to different interpretations of the optimization results. The first addressed off-site pre-casting of materials using contemporary molding techniques. The second method aggregates and combines materials of varying den-sities and utilizes a multi-material 3d printer.with Ahmed Hosny and Nicholas Jacobson