Students at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation have been building complex structures — and in the process learning about parametric modeling, digital fabrication, and computer-assisted assembly.
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They have been using the Trusset System, developed by Columbia researchers in the Avery Digital Fabrication Laboratory. The system provides an inexpensive and simple method for manufacturing and building a custom-designed, three-dimensional space-truss structure and enclosure.
At the core of the system is the "Trusset," a patented kit of parts invented at the Digital Fabrication Lab by Phillip Anzalone and Cory Clarke. The parts are modeled using custom software and fabricated with CNC (computer numerically controlled) equipment.
Space-trusses are highly efficient lightweight structural systems that can span long distances and be configured in virtually any shape. When applied to organic forms and compound curves, they are typically difficult and costly to produce and require skilled labor to assemble.
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Students at Columbia University designed and assembled a space truss using the Trusset System.
Photo: Mark Bearak
An early concept rendering of truss shape. The geometry was produced by a custom application within Maya that also generates the fabrication drawings.
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