Bridge to materiality

Over time, a lot of my research into architecture and scripting/algorithms overlooked – due to the conditions present in my school and country– the ever-important fabrication side of things. It’s easy to get distracted, create nice shapes, and then completely forget that, hey, i have to build them!

As I’ve learned recently, the best approach (and, of course, the hardest) is to go both-ways. Material properties and construction tehniques inform the final product as much as algorithm, concept and anything else does. This is an emerging system, constantly exchanging information back and forth between each component of the design process.

I’m writing these banalities because i feel they need to be pushed up front a bit, especially in my school. Anyobdy can create blobs, what about being able to construct (not sculpt!) them, even at a 1:50 model scale? Thinking of fabrication expands your way of architectural creation not by adding a surplus of superficial constraints (like the over-empasis on concept and/or philosophy that’s highly praised here) but by adding real challanges that, as an architect, you will encounter not at a model 1:50 scale but at real-life 1:1 scale.

That’s why i’ve created a small tutorial-like presentation on how to laser-cut a surface.

  • Also, i’m using an older script that would need some tweaking, but for the moment it does it what it’s supposed to : unrolling all given surfaces and numbering them in the process.

    Download the unroll script here.

  • And then there’s the compiled .pdf with the baby steps.

    Download the .pdf here.

As always, if there’s any questions or curses, drop a line.


CutMyOwnRibs script updated.


21 thoughts on “Bridge to materiality

  1. mm.. your script only work with vertical intersection. Could you make that the cylinder’s height that you use for the split use the same direction of the intersection line?

    ah.. you forgot the option for the diameter’s cylinder…

    thanks again..

  2. hello manuel, yes i’m quite stupid. it’s true i forgot to add the option to input the material thickness.
    Here it is!

    As for your other observation, thanks again! But it’s almost 4am in Bucharest now, and after a long party i’m not feeling up to it. I’ll fix it tommorow! (maybe drop an e-mail so i can notify you).

  3. Thanks for the fix, it seems that the script is working with vertical and horizontal intersections, any other angle its not working, i think that if you manage to make the cylinder in the same direction of the intersection, then it work with any kind of intersection-geometry…
    here we make the rib structure “by hand” in Rhino, which is very time consuming specially if the models aren’t regular.

    Thanks again for your work.

  4. This is the first time for me to use scripts and when I try to open the link that you have put in here, “DOWNLOAD THE RIB SCRIPT HERE” I am redirected to another window, and when I try to save it, I only have the options of saving it as a webpage or a text file. but never as a file with an RVB extention.
    do you guys know what’s the problem?

    • yes, it basically is, as i like to call it, “a massive unroller” – you can input as many developable surfaces and it will unroll each one of them while numbering them and trying (quite unsuccessful with some complex geometries) to evenly space them on the xy plane.

  5. Hi Dimitrie, congratulations for your site! Just wanted to confirm what Stu is saying, both links are pointing to CutMyOwnRibs.rvb.

    Although it’s not that difficult to write an unroller it would be nice to see how you developed it!

    Thanks for your effort in sharing!

  6. Hello Alex, you’re right! and STU’s comment pointed that out three weeks ago. There goes my unfailing reputation of keeping things tidy…

    There, now the link points in the right direction.

  7. hello i have a question
    Working ‘unroll and numbering script’,
    the number is so small.
    i want to make it large letters.
    how can i make it?

  8. hello dimitrie
    i dont understand how use the unrroll script
    zorry but can you teach me how it used?

    (zorry for the english also)

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