This summer we are undertaking a fresh investigation into the now classic subject of fabrication methods for developing pattern/gradient on a double-curved surface. While this project builds directly on methods developed for Robofold instead of looking at panelization, we are focusing developing the inherent properties of the form itself.
We are currently based in Lexington, Kentucky and this gives us an infinite supply of complex forms to test on, but they happen to be covered in grass. This project thus looks at developing the lawnmower as a method for fabricating relief patterns across these surfaces. Mowers have been used for decades as a means of creating 2D patterns for simple front lawns and sports fields, and have been the focus of other architectural enthusiasts such as Archigram. This research examines the results of adding CNC control the mower to transform it into a 3D printing mechanism. Since it is still a push-mower it also examines its interface to the operator to achieve the correct speed and angle for each print line.
The initial prototype is constructed as a rolling frame which holds the mowing mechanism. The mowing blade is taken from a standard reel mower and is controlled by 2 linear actuators using an Arduino. These actuators provide dynamic control of both the height and angle of the blade with a range of 6”.
Project Team: Anton Bakerjian, Matt Nett
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