The construction industry has not significantly changed its canon for millennia and has not increased its capabilities sufficiently.
In the age of great needs and, at the same time, great shortages (we even begin to run out of sand), we should look for a chance to change this dangerous situation.
We make such an attempt and present Fabricable Fabric Formwork. We kindly ask you to help us develop this solution for the common good.
The return to the roots
This is a very long story. This is story of ourselves.
It is impossible to describe it in a modest entry. Therefore, I am forced to use scary shortcuts…
Well, in order to finally go further, to catch up, paradoxically we have to go back very far. We just have to get back to the roots.
It will turn out that quite literally.
I’ve been working on this topic all my life. It became my obsession.
It was a arduous walk that often made me breathless, the fear was terrible. However, I plunged into this abyss to finally see a ray of hope. It turned out that the source of our problems in technique, including the construction industry in particular, is: a point, a straight line and a right angle.
The first brick started hammering the first nails into our coffin.
A simple debris hut was the last good thing that we did in the construction industry. I have evidence for this frightening thesis. Since I made such a mad assumption, I had to develop an alternative solution…
Again – it was a long process and I will introduce it more widely one day. Now I will only mention the most essential points.
First, I decided that we are sticking to the concrete. More precisely, we are about to move on to geopolymers. Details aside, we have our material – liquid rock. So just a liquid that turns solid.
Our target shape, what we want, is an arch – this is the essence of building. More specifically – catenary arch. And simplification again – we need a shape like a tree…
So – we need liquid tree. In mid-air.
Since we have a liquid, we should give it a vessel. The liquid will gladly take the shape of this vessel and it will remain that shape forever, beacuse it is geopolimer…
It remains to figure out how to make tree-shaped vessels, a bark in this case…
It’s simple – we can do it just like we make vessel for minced, liquid meat… Just like we make sausages. Unfortunately, the sausage casing is short and has a given shape. We need to modulate that shape. The trunk and branches of the tree are in different diameters, directions and lengths…
So we have to make modulated, variable geometry tubes.
What material should we choose?
Cheap!!! Okay, so use nonwovens. Because they are one of the cheapest forms of plastic. And they are perfect for our vessel/bark/skin. Nonwovens are perfect partners for concrete.
Warning! We do not tear off! Because it will become an integral (and important!) part of the structure. Our mothers did not skin us after birth.
No! Never. It will kill that technology, make it deadly expensive.
So how do we get such sophisticated shapes?
That is the real problem. We still do not have fast, fully automated and waste-free methods of producing clothes which we can use.
It just had to be invented…
Although we need complex shapes but they are composed of very simple elements – tubes… Suddenly this challenge is a little bit easier!
How to produce nonwoven tubes?
Contrary to appearances, this is a very difficult task… Ideally, we could produce them outright, just like we make a flat version. Unfortunately, there is no such technology yet (I will introduce it soon). Therefore, I decided to choose another simple solution. There is an identical situation in industry when we create tubes from a flat material (a type of nonwoven)… Paper tubes are made of coiled ribbons. Firstly, this method is fast and economical – there is only one seam (linear connection) and we get a spatial, closed shape from a previously flat object. Due to the fact that our material is a thermopolymer, we can use ultrasonic welding.
Note that we are already creating a composite. We have a non-woven skin and a geopolymeric body. Good! Let’s go further – let’s add bones, muscles, tendons…
We put a steel wire in the place of the seams. It will play a double role. It will be a guide for topology and its guardian. The skin itself is flabby. It only takes its final shape when it is filled. However, we would like it to assume its target geometry before this happens. This is exactly the task of a steel wire, because it will be a spring that can be compressed but also always returns to its shape. Of course, polymer rods can also play a similar role.
We will follow a strange path… It is new and yet ancient. We are only just starting to follow it, and yet we know it so well.
It is important that we continue this march…
For the purposes of the first simulation, I took David because who would be better suited to this job… There is a vault above him. Made of three cantenery arches. They are self-assambled. When our fabricable fabric formwork pop-up, just pour geopolymer into them. Of course, this is the simplest case. More complex structures will require gradual filling with materials – first with air, then with polyurethane foams, and finally with concrete or geopolymer. The point is to successively build self-support.
I have presented just ordinary example in this animation to make it understandable. Soon I will show a design for a machine that would create such formwork…
However, I trust that already at this stage, for many people, it is a simple formality… 😉 And that’s the most wonderful thing about it.
For some more informations, please take a look sometimes:
We kindly ask all people who deal with these topics for help.
The challenge is enormous, extremely interdisciplinary, so only joint action can bring good results.
Thanks for your support!