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Typology: Digital Tectonics – Fabrication Ecologies Status: realised Location: Barcelona Year: 2013 Research Center: Institute of Advanced A… Read More
Typology: Digital Tectonics – Fabrication Ecologies Status: realised Location: Barcelona Year: 2013 Research Center: Institute of Advanced Architecture Catalunya Design Team: Marisa Charusilawong / Drew Carson/ Vincent Huyghe/Iker Luna Read Less
1. Digital and Fabrication design processes by using computer software
2. Input coding to 7-Axis Robot
3. Hemp Loom Tool was attached with the robot’s arm for releasing thread upon the jig.
4. U-clamps were screwed within the jig for bracing the thread that followed the robot’s movements 
Mechanic conversation
Design processes used computer the software of; KUKA I prc ,Grasshopper and Rhinoceros, for fabrication protocol modelling and simulation of the 7-Axis robot’s movement. The motion simulator leads us to understand the limitation of this robotic arm and provides a way for achieving the maximum utilization of the digital tool. To start weaving thread, the robot needs a controller to control the 7-Axis robot. A hand- held control panel is utilized for running the operation. The robot arm will move according to the code which was generating by grasshopper and pluging KUKA l prc.
Hemp Loom Tool 1 
The Hemp Loom tool was developed as part of a research line in branching structures. The original principle was extracted from branching process of the plants in the HHH, we were interested in create a tool that could mimic growing patrons to study the interconnection and the deformation of the natural fibers, the Hemp Loom allow us to use large amounts of hemp wire and control it with precision using robotic protocols. Weaving 2d and 3d patterns and exploring how these can be used as tensile and compressive structures. 
The first part of the hemp loom tool holds the 5000m spool of wire. The second part off the tool is responsible for to keep the wire under tension. To achieve this the wire is guided trough a clam cleat and 3 16mm blocks,
the final part of the tool is the hollow 15mm diameter pvc tube and high precision spring loaded nozzle.
The choice was made to use a pvc tube to provide the tool with a flexible end piece in case tool hits something. 
Hemp tool 1 Calibration test
Prototype 1: Jig and Joinery design 
Arranged in a grid pattern the jig can create a multiple weaving organizations with a single board. The pin weaving system simplistically slides into the pre-cut holes. The organization of these holes is dictated by the pattern itself. Utilizing a pin at nodes where the form itself changes directions, the fiber is woven around creating the pattern through the fiber’s tensile strength. The joinery methodology was created simply through wire to wire connections by zip ties. The form of the pattern, once removed from the jig, needed tensile forces to retain shape. This need for continuous forces was a limitation. 
The tool path mimics the way plants form new branches. In nature there is a height and rotation offset in between each new branch. We discovered that if we apply this principle to the robotic weaving a tool path with no intersections is created which necessary to enable weaving the patterns. The minimum raise per branch is 0.8mm otherwise the tool end clips the previously woven branch. The script analyses the branch looking for the number knots in the branch and the angle between each branching point and based on this generates the weaving tool path for the hemp loom tool. One loop of the pattern is 100m of wire and contains 56 different
In focusing upon branching we had generated a fabrication protocol that had a beginning of a fruitful experiment. This first exploration of creating a tool to be utilized upon a 6 axis robot was a success, but there were some lessons learned from it. The main achievements that we gained from this first iteration of fabrication were controlling and coding the robot, utilizing our material in a successful way, and creating a self contained tool.
The coding and creating of paths for the robot is a delicate task of understanding how our laying of fiber creates a border that the tool cannot clip on a second or perpendicular pass. The branching pattern we generated was successful through a slight increase within the z-axis each pass the robot took.
Seeking to better understand our material, we focused upon generating tensile structures. The inherent structural nature that exists within wire is something that we wanted to utilize and easily reproduce on large scale. While a single wire was at times very weak, through redundancies we were able to weave an intricate pattern while at the same time easily retain structure.
The “Hemp Loom Tool” was created by understanding how we could create fibrous structures with the weaving of string within a jig. What was needed for the weaving process to occur was a self contained tool that kept the spools of string in a specific position, while unwinding needed amounts of string without this material becoming knotted and breaking its structural integrity. While it took some experimentation we were successful in concentrating these needed inputs within the tool.
While successful in many areas, there were a few lessons learned and points of interest that we wanted to further explore. One such development was the realization that while we retained the structural properties of the wire, the tooling process wove the pattern in such a tight way that it was impossible for us to remove it from the jig and still posses the intricacies that it had on the jig. What was intriguing then was how we could generate a tool that had this idea of internode connectivity integrated within the tooling process. In other words, how could we keep the pattern’s form in all areas of the process; from digital, to production and finally to removal?