This project explored digital design and fabrication, offering design variety within the limits of set tools and techniques and by creatively engaging with standard industrial fabrication machines. Digital design and fabrication is a means to involve both the designer and the fabricator to collectively produce a playful combination of manufactured and hand-crafted prototypes. During the workshop, we worked with a standard top-quality industrial punching machine to fabricate sheet metal components for a small 1:1 installation.
The punching machine composes perforated designs using discrete elements of specific dimensions, while both perforated and embossed designs can be combined. A pattern can be developed with generative, parametric tools and image manipulation. Using agent-based scripting and programming with Rhinoceros and Grasshopper the pattern emerged with a ‘narrative’ potential, creating distinct ‘characters’ that moved across the surface, interacting with each other, the material and the light. This project forms part of an ongoing investigation into surface design, parametric tools and digital fabrication with regards to the exterior cladding of buildings.