Gabriella Perry


Defining Space with a Continuously Spanning Linear Element

Virginia Tech, Introduction to Robotics Final Exercise, Spring 2019

Contributers: Gabriella Perry and Atharva Ranade

Weave was a two-week design robotics exercise inspired by the woven carbon fiber pavilion projects from the University of Stuttgart Insitute of Computational Design and Construction. The project's goal was not to directly mimic the ICD pavilions but instead experiment with the different geometries achievable by this process at a small scale. However, the project ended up being more a lesson about navigating the difficulties of using external forms in design robotics rather than exploring the afforded opportunities of robotic weaving.

The base form is two intersecting laser-cut plates with notches to catch the thread. The peripheral notches of the plates allow for more spatial weaving rather than boundary or wall like weaving. There are five weavable planes, the four side planes between the notched edges and the top plane. The form is held in place by a wooden cube that lifts the form off the ground so the weaving tool can reach the bottom-most notches.

The weaving tool included a thin aluminum tube connected to the robot by a 3D printed attachment. This tool directed the string from the spool located behind the robot. While the weaving tool is simple, working with a form required more complex toolpath modification. The tool could not go precisely to each point but instead had to move in a circle around the notch to catch the string but not collide with the form. The tool also had to be raised after each circular movement to ensure it would not crash into the form during the travel movement.