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.