Vector field patterns were our starting point for the design for our 3d printed lighting panel. The project was a formal exploration into the material performance of our geometry and light. How could vector fields translate into a performance of light?

Courtesy of Generative Landscapes

The first step was to define the variable parameters to explore and to transform the two-dimensional pattern into a design that would exhibit variation of light across the surface. The parameters we decided to experiment with were vector length, width, height/thickness, and rotation. Point density would stay constant but vary across the different prototypes to find the optimum figure. We produced four different prototypes.

The prototypes offered a wealth of lessons to be learned. The prototype with tapering elements had a poor finish because of the way the 3d printer terminated the tips with plastic hairs. Another prototype had a smudged appearance because the difference of geometry height was too subtle at that scale. We varied the top height to understand the necessary height to effectively block the light. Some prototypes were too dense, others too little. Using these lessons and parameters, we went ahead and designed the next prototypes for the final panel.

The three alternatives for the final panel translated our experiments on a larger scale but were also progressively more minimal in their gesture. Porting the design to the 3d printer was a seamless back and forth process experimenting with the print angle, support design and thickness of the design. The final design was adjusted using the script to fit within the time requirements using the prototypes as a reference. All the geometry was well accepted by the 3d printing software because of the simplicity of rectangular extrusions of the design.

Digital Fabrication II – The Fields is a project of IaaC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed at the Master in Advanced Architecture in 2019 by:
Students: Rani Kamel, Deepika Raghu, Andrea de Stasio, Daniel Nahmias
Faculty: Lana Awad, Ricardo Mayor, Sujal Kodamadanchirayil
Assistants: Alaa Al Baroudi