July 2022 / Elective course summer semester 2022

The HYTAC Elective Course from summer semester 2022 offered students the opportunity to explore alternative ways to approach a context analysis. While learning basic principles behind photogrammetry and 3D-printing, students could develop their own design and implement new techniques into their personal architectural workflow.

With drone footage of Urmein, a village in the Canton of Graubünden in Switzerland, students were able create and process a point-cloud-generated context model in no time. CAD software was used to produce a 3D-printable site-model in architectural scale. 

Point-cloud-generated context, captured with drone on site
3D-printed site-model of Urmein, GR

After printing the site-model, students could use the newly learned skills to create their own design proposal for a given plot in Urmein. The following student projects show how volumetric analysis was integrated into the workflow to check and understand the impact of each design.

Volumetric analysis was used inside of the CAD software in a very abstract and timesaving way to enhance the workflow and understand the consequences of the design at the very beginning.

Study of section through whole site including the proposed design. Furthermore, a volumetric study with a 3D-printed part was conducted

Placing the design into the point-cloud-generated model to discuss the use of materials and how they interact with the rest of the village.

Elective course winter semester 2021

The HYTAC Elective Course from winter semester 2021 gave students the opportunity to acquire basic skills for modelling with CAD software (Rhino, ArchiCAD) in combination with 3D-printing. The goal of the course was to facilitate the common architectural workflow by skipping the time-consuming process of handcrafted context modelling.

Small exercises and challenges helped the students to learn how to use 3D-printers and to explore limits of printing. One of the challenges included the design of a bridge with the largest span width without using supports. 

Furthermore, students could learn how to produce a physical context model to facilitate their architectural workflow. The model described below is based on Soglio, a village in the Canton of Graubünden in Switzerland.

With the information from the cadaster, containing building footprints and contour lines of the terrain, it was possible to create a digital replica of the village in ArchiCAD. A certain level of simplification was considered to avoid unnecessary details and to save time. Afterwards, the digital model was prepared for 3D-printing: it was divided into 20 pieces and put to a scale of 1:500. Using PrusaSlicer, each piece was checked for faults and converted into a G-code, readable by a 3D printer. 

Screenshot of ArchiCAD, showing digitally modelled context with simple buildings, trees and terrain
Screenshot of PrusaSlicer, to prepare the file for 3D-printing

After successfully printing and assembling all parts, the model was put on display, enabling discussion about the context of the village and to propose new design solutions.