The Bridge

For the Bridge Project, we investigated the intersection of fabrication techniques and press fit construction. We were interested in the idea of mass-customized as well as mass-standardized components--that, through a DP model were capable of changing in scale. In conjunction with the use of press fit components, we wanted explore the potential of a fishbeam construction. Because the strength is based on tension and compression, this type of structure has the opportunity to employ very light weight and thin materials.

Context- Academic, Harvard GSD,
CAD/CAM Fall 2010

Collaborators- Timur Dogan, Dena Molnar, Andrew Payne

Inspiration  

CNC Press Fit Parts- For the initial experimentation, we designed and milled 1/2” MDF pieces with varying pocket widths. This allowed us to find an ideal fit construction, as well as familiarize ourselves with the CNC process.

Construction Lines for Laser-  In an attempt to move to lighter and thinner materials, we went on to work with 1/4” plywood. The geometry of the press fit construction is based on the width of the material, and for this reason, the pockets were also scaled at 1/4”.

Laser Cut Press Fit Parts- We decided to work with a process that involved laser cutting. This decision was based on the assessment that the overcuts the CNC must make when cutting out 90 degree angles would tear into the geometry of the rectangular splines.

Press Fit Construction Pieces- For the press fit Joints, the group designed several geometries. The overall construction requires 20 joints, each with 6 layers, and potentially, only 2 different legs and 2 dowels. For our design, we customized the legs to create an arched geometry.

Constructed Bridge  

Bridge Presentation  

Load Testing