Author Archives: 05 Jesse Larkins

CNC_Digital Design & Computation

As a relatively new student to DAAP, I found an opportunity in this semesters digital design and computation research project to gain first hand knowledge and experience of a method and process I had very little prior exposure to.

As a group research team, we believed it necessary to cover a direct synopsis in which we could focus on the summary of CNC fabrication of digital design.  This summary includes a brief introduction to the history of CNC machines, the types CNC machines commonly available today, the work flow from digital design to finished fabricated objects with an example experiment, the recourses available locally to Cincinnati, and what we might see in the future for uses of CNC digital fabrication.

Being a group formed of individuals consisting of little to no experience in the process of digitally fabricating an object through the use of a CNC machine, we sought to not only achieve a basic understanding of how the CNC process works for ourselves, but also to convey such knowledge to other students.

Like many fields of subject matter, including gaming, software and individual programs, grasping even a basic understanding of historical context lends a great deal to understanding them presently.  The same may be said of understanding CNC fabrication.  With this, we were charged with the task of briefly examining the origins of CNC machining, as well as precedents and uses of its productions up to present day.

Once an idea of origin and current developments have been established, it is then necessary to convey what CNC fabrication recourses are available to students.  Most students may acknowledge the existence of CNC capabilities within DAAP, but may not be aware of the various machines, their capabilities, or how to prepare a design in order to undergo such a process.  This was a chief concern of the groups, understanding that we must inform students of the various CNC machines within DAAP, as well as to illustrate the process of design to CNC to end product.  We arrived at the consensus that a decent understanding of the various CNC fabricating machines along with their different capabilities and constraints, combined with the process of formatting designs to work with them, would lead to less painstaking design and format manipulation time, more cost-effectiveness, and an overall more efficient design process.

We believed this to be a good start in informing students of CNC resources within DAAP.  It was then acknowledged that there are several design fabricating companies with CNC services outside of DAAP available within Cincinnati.  The group felt it pertinent to shed light onto these services for multiple reasons.  One being that these companies contain CNC machines with capabilities and sizes different than those within DAAP, which may suit certain projects to a finer degree.  Another reason being that these companies, comprised of ‘Basermatter’ and ‘Such + Such’, may have ideas or points of view on approaches to machining a project different than those at the RPC in DAAP.  In branching out from the RPC to these other available resources, one may gain first hand collaboration in the development or angle of fabricating their design.  At bare minimum, visiting other Cincinnati CNC design fabrication services will further inform ones own knowledge of CNC machines by growing insight to various approaches of fabricating a design, obtain knowledge of possibilities into cost-efficiency opportunities, and possibly get a project fabricated on time for a deadline when the RPC was completely booked up.

Through the investigation of CNC digital fabrication technologies, researching history, typologies, file format to finish product processes, available resources local to Cincinnati, and future possibilities, I believe as a group we have conveyed information encouraging the understanding and application of CNC fabrication to DAAP students.

Schematic Design: Wilson_Patel_Larkins

These iterations communicate the variation in form that this project evolves from. Capitalizing on the use of private vs. public space, a penalized partition will create unique acoustical conditions for a variety of uses: critiques, lectures, and even intimate conversations. This design speaks to human interactions and can be customized to address specific acoustical needs within Neihoff. Variation will be explored through tessellating the paneling system according to needs addressed by a series of acoustic simulations.

p1_Jesse Larkins_05

Manta is a surface that changes its form, along with its acoustic property, in response to multisensory input including sound, stereoscopic vision, multi-touch, and brainwaves.  Although adaptable acoustics are common, Manta explores new levels of responsiveness in an effort to advance acoustic systems beyond individual elements and corrective treatment.

Manta is composed of CNC-machined panels and connectors of two thicknesses of high-density polyethylene.  This panel system demonstrates a harmonious play between material and geometry as the curved forms result from a combination of triangulation and bending moments.  Manta’s minimum amount of suspension points allows for controlled morphing.

As a development through collaboration between Grimshaw Architects and the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Manta is a prime example of multidisciplinary design potential.

Not only would a project like Manta exercise the capability of parametric design, it would allow for collaboration of students, or a team, to discover the potential of acoustic adaptation to varying functions and activities within the space of Neihoff Studio.