frank's blog

A Cardboard Column With 16 Million Facets – Michael Hansmeyer in Berlin

Posted in architecture, art by aldorf on May 4, 2011

(Photos Michael Hansmeyer + thisiscolossal.com)

One of Michael Hansmeyer’s cardboard column is in an exhibit right next door to my house at Smallspace Gallery, Berlin. He is a computational architect who examines the use of algorithms and computation to generate architectural forms. This project, Subdivided Columns – A New Order is a 9-foot column that weighs nearly 2,000 pounds generated by iterating a subdivision algorithm and then utilizing a laser to delicately slice each segment of cardboard. Michael Hansmeyer uses algorithms invented by Pixar.

A full-scale, 2.7-meter high variant of the columns is fabricated as a layered model using 1mm sheet. Each sheet is individually cut using a mill or laser. Sheets are stacked and held together by poles that run through a common core.

The calculation of the cutting path for each sheet takes place in several steps. First, the six million faces of the 3D model are intersected with a plane representing the sheet. This step generates a series of individual line segments that are tested for self-intersection and subsequently combined to form polygons. Next, a polygon-in-polygon test deletes interior polygons. A series of filters then ensures that convex polygons with peninsulas maintain a mininimum isthmus width. In a final step, an interior offset is calculated with the aim of hollowing out the slice to reduce weight.

See more images at artist website 

Read an article on FastCo 

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