Digital DIY : EdFab Project
Patel, Yusef; McMeel, D.
Citation:Patel, Y., & McMeel, D. (2015, May). Digital DIY: EdFab Project. S. M. Ahmed., Y. Xenidis., S. Azhar., N. A. Smith., C. E. Yaris., S. Campbell (Ed.), Eighth International Conference on Construction in the 21st Century (pp.322-329).
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/3870
The widespread availability of automated fabrication tools is rising dramatically. Entry-level CNC routers, robotics and 3D printers can be a cost effective machinery for small to medium sized enterprises to implement. The demand to reduce housing costs and to increase resilience and quality within the construction industry will lead to a dramatic change in how we build in the years to come. Today, one extreme of housing design remains defined by prefabrication, mass-produced ‘off the shelf’ materials and processes. At the other extreme, bespoke housing still requires designers to hire specialist consultants and tradespeople to calculate, engineer and manufacture custom made building elements, resulting in outcomes that are not always cost effective. In this paper, we outline EDFAB: eco – digital fabrication research project, with the aim to challenge conventional processes and relationships and propose a radically new but viable design and building alternative. To achieve these aims, the project is developing a system that introduces process and product innovation. It combines enhanced construction technologies, new attitudes towards materials and digital fabrication methods to produce distinctive, high quality, healthier and cost effective residential buildings that conform to the international housing standard. The paper discusses the specific contribution to the project from the different involved research areas – building technology, architecture and digital fabrication technologies - and presents the early results towards a ‘do it yourself’ (DIY) 10m2 prototype domestic scale ‘sleep out’, designed and built using CNC routers and novel plywood construction methods that produce a kit-of-parts that are very easy to handle.