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Plastic Architecture

Research Assistants: Alireza Bayramvand (DART, UMICH), Christopher Voltl (DART, UMICH), Ruxin Xie (DART, UMICH)

Sponsor: Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning Research and Creative Practice seed fund.

This project develops computational design and robotic 3d printing technologies for an integrated building envelope system that combines the many functions of the conventional floor-wall-roof systems. Instead of assembling the many layers of cladding and plastic sheets to create weather resistance, vapor, and moisture barriers, the cladding and barriers are printed from plastic in one process. We integrate voids to contain translucent insulation materials like silica gel and phase change materials (PCM) for energy storage.

Dimensions of each panel: 2270 X 1170 X 200 - 230 mm (height X width X depth), 8 - 50 mm thickness of the outer layers
Material: thermoplastic PETG
The volume of material for one panel: 41.3 liters of polymer
Weight of one panel: 44.5 kilograms
Printing time of each panel: 44 hours
Number of mesh faces in the low-resolution panel: 70,000 triangles
Number of mesh faces in the high-resolution panel: 840,000 quads
Toolpath kilometer in the low-resolution panel: 10,323 meters
Toolpath kilometer in the high-resolution panel: 10,333 meters

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