Cross-Scale Topology Bridge | 2019


Tongji University has collaborated with Fab-Union intelligent engineering Co., Ltd.(hereinafterreferred to as Fab-Union)create a high-performance bridgecombining two robotic fabrication techniques together, filament winding andlarge scale 3d metal printing.This project is one of the projectscompleted by group 12 (Multi-material Robotic Fabrication) from the DigitalFUTURES 2019 International summer workshop.

At present,building industry has big impact on global resources consumption. With thepopulation growing, this problem would only become bigger and bigger. This includesthe building material for the building, the supporting material we use duringthe construction process, the mold we use to fabricate the components, theenergy we use to transport the components, etc.

Differentfrom the conventional subtraction or cast pouring manufacturing, robotic 3d metalprinting applies less material and energy to fabricate structure withoutcomplicated space positioning process, extensive formwork or complex molds,meanwhile it offers more freedom back to the designer. Withexcellent strength to weight ratio and the scale limitation determined by therobot reachability, as an efficient production method, roboticfilament winding technique became a great method to form thegeometry as alocalstructure like staircases and handrails.

Throughthis composite structure, the jointed research team aims to maximize thestructure performance, minimize the material usage, meanwhile achieving theminimal fabrication+ installation time. This structure spans 11.4 meters,rises 3.9 meters. With millimeter construction precision, the main structurethickness tapers from only20cm.

With the helpfrom XIE Technologies, topology optimizationsoftwarebased on BESO(Bi-directionalEvolutionary Structural Optimization)was used tooptimize thestructureperformance. As aresult, only around 263 kg of stainless steel wasused for the main structure, and it could hold up more than 20 people. The main structure is divided into13 segments based both on structure optimization and technical requirementsfrom robotic 3d metal printing. 26 handrails and 28 steps are pre-fabricatedthrough robotic filament winding. In total, 3889 meters of glass fiber and 4072meters of carbon fiber were used to form the steps and the handrails.

Using 4robots -2 for 3d metal printing, 2 for filament winding - The whole projectonly took 20 days for the design phase, 20 days for robotic fabrication, and 7days for installation.


Service: 3D Metal Printing, Carbon Fiber Winding

Construction: 07. 2019

Location: College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University, Yangpu District, Shanghai