3D Spacer Textile Composites

The 3D Spacer Textile Composites project investigated ways of instrumentalising local form-finding processes to differentiate continuous 3D textile glass fibre composite surfaces. Form-finding is a design technique that utilises the self-organisation of material systems under the influence of extrinsic forces or manipulations. In other words material form can be found as the state of equilibrium of internal resistances and external forces. Contrary to most form finding processes, which are concerned with the global morphology of a system, this project aimed at exploring local manipulations to elaborate the mathematically defined geometry of 3D textile-glass fibre composite surfaces. A series of manipulation techniques were developed as the specific distribution of parametric ‘manipulation components’ defining the vectors and distances of gathering particular points on a three dimensional spacer textile. Numerous experiments were conducted exploring the behaviour of gathering sequence and kind, emerging surface articulation and overall morphology. This lead to a catalogue of specific local manipulations, applied through simple procedures of point gathering following computationally derived protocols, which enable overall double curvature and considerably increase the structural depth and bending stiffness of the system. The local manipulations were then correlated with the possibility of integrating a glass fibre reinforced skin and the mathematics of defining formwork geometry in order to produce a series of full scale prototypes.

Department of Form Generation and Materialisation (Prof. Achim Menges)
Nico Reinhardt, HFG Offenbach University of Art and Design, Germany, 2006-07