DIGITAL STONE PROJECT
Ruffled. This panel was created as part of a collaboration between the Digital Stone Project and Mark Foster Gage's Disheveled Geometries seminar that sought to innovate new fabrication techniques for milling complex surfaces out of marble. The aim of this series of experiments was to create a new aesthetic for drapery that, while akin to the formal folded surfaces of classical sculpture, was disheveled into a more exotic geometry. Using the pleated gills of a mushroom as a precedent, we sought to create a panel of discretely ruffled ribbons that still behaved as a single folded surface. To that end, the principal fabrication challenge was to reproduce the extreme undercutting essential to these forms – an impossible proposition using conventional 3-axis milling techniques. To fabricate the prototype, we then experimented with various subtractive techniques on the KUKA 7-axis mill, the primary challenge of which was to produce the undercuts of this surface. To capture with precision the overall form of the drapery, we elected to use a 7-axis surface finish milling technique which automated the swarf pathing process by creating thousands of swarf profiles along the projected UV map of each ribbon's surface. Thus, to train the KUKA to mill the surfaces with precision, each ribbon was pathed individually using a series of customized bounding boxes, work- planes, tool axes, and surface finishes. The foam prototype was created to demonstrate a viable fabrication method for a full-scale marble panel. In collaboration with Will Sheridan.
Critic: Mark Foster Gage, Yale School of Architecture, 2013