Sand casting is a manufacturing method several millennia old which could today provide a sustainable alternative for non-standard concrete molds. Its availability and easiness to process lends itself well to the highly controlled robotic manufacturing processes.
Wall panel, additive robotic aggregation and concrete casting
Student project done at Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zürich
ETH, Zürich, Switzerland
2 m x 1 m
Reinforced concrete casted on the latex coated sand formwork
Universal Robots UR5, Kuka KR 150 L110 on linear track
Michael Knauß (project lead), Axel Vansteenkiste, Prof. Girot, ILA und Yael Girot, Atelier Girot, Prof. Dr. Robert Flatt, Heinz Richner (IfB ETHZ)
Tobias Abegg, Mihir Bedekar, Daria Blaschkiewitz, Hernan Garcia, Jitesh Mewada, Ho Kan Wong
Using a simple sand additive process on a straight, parallel paths, with a fixed pouring height and varying speeds, we were able to achieve a whole spectrum of spatial inter-relationships on the surface of the sand. These were sprayed with latex to achieve surface rigidity and then used as a mold for concrete. Hills and valleys now become ribs whose exact dimensions and spatial placement is governed by strict structural and functional requirements for a retaining wall, conceptually a part of public Rhine river promenade in Basel. Changing soil configuration, ground water level as well as varying tieback height produces different material placement in the wall and therefore different structural reading. The wall becomes a window to the landscape behind.