Emerging Territories of Digital Material Practice

This paper explores the emerging future field of fabric form work for concrete structures in combination with 3D printing. The showcased material experimentations represent studies which focus on the simultaneous use of fabric formwork and textile 3D printing in order to create a new type of material process for forming and fabricating non standard geometries applied to architectural elements. Textiles in combination with 3D printed patterning are seen in this context as tools for form generation and to a certain extent also for form control.  

This practice-based research offers a new alternative to predominant fabrication methods for complex geometries, showcasing the benefits of hybrid digital crafting techniques. The developed manufacturing strategy will be explained through a series of material experimentations and resulting prototypes. The following studies investigate fabrication processes and surface texturing methods for the manufacturing of small and large-scale prototypes such as tiles or concrete columns. The studies represent material investigations with a hybrid material system —textile, concrete and 3D printed silicone— and are process driven, concentrating more on process experimentation —seen as a digital crafting methodology — rather than focussing on a predefined design output.