Digital fabrication is a manufacturing process that uses a machine controlled by computers. This method has sparked the interest of architects and product designers, as it opens the door to new possibilities in terms of solving complex processes and new approaches for construction. On 9 July 2020, swissnex Brazil organised a webinar on digital fabrication, moderated by Barbara Iseli, with Fabio Gramazio and Jorge Lopes.
Digital fabrication can be used in a wide range of areas, ranging from medical devices, prosthetics, furniture elements to architectural structures. It also allows applications in areas like archaeology, where it is used to recreate objects like the interior of mummies or reconstructing a skull from its ashes.
As Fabio Gramazio explained, digital fabrication allows architects to experiment with different types of materials in order to build new structures. Combining this technology with craftsmen can result in the construction of innovative buildings. In the future, this could allow architects and the construction sector in general to be more efficient and sustainable.
Jorge Lopes on the other hand, has been using digital fabrication to recreate a skull lost in the 2018 fire of the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro. He also created 3D models of fetuses so that parents with visual impairment can feel the appearance of their babies during pregnancy. The technology has a promising future in biotechnology as well, for example when it comes to printing organs for transplants. However, in Brazil, the materials needed are still very expensive and sometimes hard to find, hindering the fast adoption of digital fabrication.
If you missed the webinar, or would like to watch it again, check out the full version below!
Digital Fabrication in Architecture & Design