About thmarshall

Architecture Major Digital Fabrications Minor

Plywood : Final Exhibition Boards

Plywood : Fabrication and Assembly

A quick synopsis of the fabrication and assembly process for tri-ply with a couple final artifact photos. Enjoy.


Team Plywood (Tucker, Kristin, Jason, Parisa)

Plywood : Mock-up

Here is a mockup of 3 panels and their connecting acrylic clips. The panels are roughly 10″x10″ in size with variation for each one depending on surface location. The clips were calipered to be friction fit joints, so much so that glue was unnecessary for this mock-up but will be used for an added safety factor in the final. The cut line that spread out concentrically are two-purposed. One, they create a lighter aethestic by allowing light to pass, as well as being the indicator of where the clips are located on the panel. This saves machine time by not requiring a secondary marking system. Also the labeling on the clips coordinates with the panel labeling but requires more work in the GH definition. Overall, the system has complete rigidity due in part to the high-tensile strength clips and the structural capabilities of the 1/4″ plywood panels.

Plywood : Clip Definition Development

Below i have both the clip GH definition as well as the resulting rhino view-port with the definition on and running. The equilateral triangles shown are just samples that are being used as place-makers for the purpose of developing this definition. To start the definition takes perimeter curves from each panel and divides in thirds. From those points lines are developed. Through dispatch and expression editor, the only curves allowed to stay on are under 1″. Using these 1″ lines as the markers for the clip geometry, a orient by plane definition is used to orient the clip geometry (developed in earlier posts) to each clip point. Next the clips need to be labeled (by panel) and oriented to a base plane for fabrication.

Team “Ramrod”  Plywood

Plywood : Clip Development : Calipered Connections

This round of testing was in order to develop a clip that was able to sufficiently hold place via friction fit in the assembly of the panelized surface made of 1/4″ baltic birch plywood (actually .194″). This is crucial in maintaining structural rigidity and creating an efficient assembly process. The .164″ clip width created a hold that required a bit of brute strength to apply but held very well in place which would make assembly much quicker by not requiring glue until the entire surface is assembled (of course for safety control, high-strength glues would be applied later). The .174″ clip was also sufficient but did not hold as well, which makes the .164″ clip a superior choice. The .184″ had very little grip, and the exact dimension .194″ had no grip virtually. In addition, to speed fabrication up, only straight lines were used.

-Team “Ramrod” Plywood

Plywood : Initial Acrylic Clip Fabrication Testing

Moving forward with the precedent design where clips combine the plywood panels to create an inherently structural form that relies completely on those connections, these tests were done to ensure the connection strength. With 2 clips per side of each panel (shape undecided), the clip need to be efficient in material, laser cut time, and ease of assembly. This high-strength .118″ acrylic allows the machining time to keep to a minimum given the shallow depth. The different tests analyzed which curves cut faster (straight lines are fastest given that the motor needs to slow down for continuous change in path for curves). In addition, labeling and correct calipering of the slots to most efficiently fit the wood will be crucial during assembling and need to be payed attention to moving forward. 

Line : Final Deliverables

Here are the final photos, linework, definitions, and rhino screenshot of the line engraving job. The specs on the CAM file ended up being a series of engraving Mops that stepped down at 1/8″ each time to .625″. This allowed the creation of pointed lines by moving the 1/4″ tool into the wood at 3 dimensions rather than starting it already in the wood or plunging. The post-CNC work included 3 hours of sanding for the fraying that could not be avoided even with 90 in/min cut rate. If you have any ideas on how to avoid with baltic birch plywood, be sure to let me know.

-Team “Ramrod” Plywood

Tucker / Dave “Pleats, Please”

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Here is a compilation of all our final deliverables from the 1st project “Pleats, Please” including the definition, the cut file, and our final photos. The project itself was driven from an interest in the origami’s ability to contract and expand based upon its modular ratio in many different manners. Ultimately leading to a fully-compacted and expandable unit. Thank you.

//Tucker / Dave