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eCAADe 2022 Paper

Modulo Continuo

5-Axis ceramic additive manufacturing applications for evaporative cooling facades modules

Paper presented at the eCAADe 2022 Conference: Co-creating the Future: Inclusion in and through Design held in Ghent, Belgium.

Recent developments in industrial robotics present an increasing degree of control in additive manufacturing, enabling customization of architectural building components at the scale of the individual unit. Combining the affordances of a 6-axis robotic arm, paste-based extrusion, and terracotta clay, Modulo Continuo presents methods for part customization of evaporative cooling facade modules. The design of the facade modules is developed firstly at the scale of the tectonic unit - as a self-supporting, interlocking modular system of curved modules with an embedded water reservoir for evaporative cooling. Second, this is developed at the scale of the toolpath - in which the density of the infill geometry in the modules is calibrated based on principles of evaporative cooling. This research presents aesthetic and performative opportunities through an exploration of infill patterning and density of modules based on evaporative cooling requirements. To produce each curved module through additive manufacturing, curved CNC milled substrates are used to support the geometry while accommodating clay shrinkage. Furthermore, this paper presents novel digital workflows for the customization of a modular façade system and the generation of variable toolpaths for infill patterns. By developing additive manufacturing methodologies for part customization, the research presents future opportunities for the digital fabrication of ceramic construction elements. 


Additive Manufacturing, Digital Fabrication, Evaporative Cooling, Ceramics

Project Team

Amelia Wen Jiun Gan, George Guida, Dongyun Kim, Devashree Shah, Hye Jun Youn, Zach Seibold


Project Exhibition

Material Systems: Digital Design & Fabrication, Harvard GSD in collaboration with Harvard Ceramics Lab, May 2022

Coordinated by Nathan King, Zach Seibold, Gabby Perry, Kathy King, Geoff Booras, Casey Zeng

eCAADe Conference Schedule

eCAADe Paper Link

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