The digital construction lab at Swinburne University comprises a team of academic researchers across multiple disciplines including material science, structural engineering, and design. The lab researches novel means of construction using newly developed concrete polymers in combination with 3d printing technology.
I developed PrintLab to bridge the gap between the structural and design implications inherent to this emerging construction technology by establishing an environment which serves a latent space for rapid prototyping and design exploration.
PrintLab automates the conversion of 3d geometry into a set of commands which are interpreted by the six-axis gantry printer at the facilities of Swinburne’s digital construction lab.
The plugin for Grasshopper generates print commands that can be simulated inside Rhino, enabling faster feedback and exploration of spatial, mechanical, and structural constraints.
Built on Grasshopper’s parametric design capabilities, the geometry can be driven by external parameters, that automatically propagate the changes to the print simulation. A generator component processes the print commands into G Code, which can be saved out and loaded into the printer’s controller for printing.