Materials Recycling, Saving the World! (and yourself some money!)

One of the most important habits we can pick up as designers and makers is to use anything available to us. In consideration for the conservation of materials and the reduction of waste from our projects we must carefully plan how best to use the material we are working with.

This can be seen as a hindrance to quickly starting a project but in reality, effective planning can help reveal more appropriate materials for a particular task as well as best use of those at hand. This saves money and expands our understanding of material qualities.

Before planning based on an infinite amount of material it’s good practice to break down your projects into components as a list or drawing which you can refer and source materials against. With this reference at hand we can decide on the most appropriate materials for each component or group of components.

An example of this might be all ‘green’ or natural areas of a site could be represented using timber against a coloured acrylic as the man made roadways. Knowing this we could separate those components and begin collecting materials that suit the required sizes.

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Looking through off-cuts left from past projects it is likely you can produce much if not all of your model for free by using these.

 Sheet Material Component Layouts

By working out what you need from a particular piece of material before you begin to cut you can get the most from each piece you use – off cut or new.

Material Saving

This applies to both hand drawn and CAD drawn components. Rather than placing components scattered around a sheet, arrange them in a manner that gets the most out of each piece (See Screen Shot above for a good example).

This example from Abhi Chauhan’s project below demonstrates how a piece of laser cut MDF with effective component arrangement can get the most out of a sheet of material.

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Re-Use of materials and model components

 

Before you decide to use new materials you can also look at the role of your existing works and rework them into new ideas as demonstrated in this student video made by Signe Perkone and Sigita Zigure who graduated BA Architecture last year. Whilst we are keen to record all work produced it is impossible for us to keep everything so by re-using models this way we are helping to do our bit to reduce waste.

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1st Year BA Architecture Inductions

This week we have given a general introduction to modelmaking to the new wave of BA Architecture First Year students. We hope everyone who attended enjoyed their sessions and are ready to get making things this year.

If you have any questions get in touch.

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More info about products and your discounts at 4D Modelshop can be found on their site at http://modelshop.co.uk/

As there were several people who didn’t attend the inductions we may be holding catch up sessions one day next week but this is yet to be confirmed. We will keep you posted.

Enjoy your weekend!

Scott and Jim

B.15:45 Years of Architectural Modelmaking Documentary Video

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As part of our B.15:45 exhibition we have produced this documentary film exploring the constant but changing use of modelmaking within architectural education here at The Manchester School of Architecture within The University of Manchester.

The film interviews past and present academic, teaching and technical staff about their thoughts on modelmaking in architecture and how the tool continues to be used in design teaching today.

We hope this provides a good insight into Architectural modelmaking and helps to define its place in student studies here.

We would like to say many thanks again to all involved in the production of this film.

Scott and Jim

1st Year Inductions and 4D Modelshop visit 17th & 18th September

1st Year Inductions this week This year we will be inducting each and every newcomer to MSA into the theory of Modelmaking in their studies. These inductions will be taking place in the workshop this coming Wednesday and Thursday and we will therefore be closed to all other year groups for these two days. 4D_logo[1] 4D Modelshop Visit 4D Modelshop is one of the main suppliers of modelmaking tools and materials in the UK. They are based in London but offer and efficient web service allowing quick delivery to Manchester. Deliveries can be made to our workshop or your home address.

As part of these first year inductions we have been able to invite a representative for 4D Modelshop in the the building to demonstrate and display some of the materials available that will come in handy for your studies. 4D Will be set up on our first floor near the B.15:45 Exhibition and will be on hand throughout both days to all – not just 1st year inductees.

We recommend you drop by to see what will be on offer as there will be student discount opportunities on starter tool kits and materials samples so well worth a look.  Scott and Jim

B.15:45 Private View Opening

DSC02980 DSC02972After just over a year in the making B.15:45 finally opened on with a private view event on Friday evening. The event was a fantastic success with many unexpected guests and familiar faces gathering to discuss the subject of Modelmaking in Architecture.

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An opening introduction speech was made by Professor Nick Dunn who gave a concise description of the history of modelmaking and overview of our goals with this exhibition which was well received by all.

Myself and Jim would like to thank everybody involved and all who made it to the opening to make it such a great success.

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The exhibition is now open to all 9.00-17.00 during term time for the next year. We will be hosting several events on alongside the exhibition and engaging with school and college groups which has already begun. Keep checking for updates regarding any public events as we want to keep all interested parties engaged in our continued work.

Many thanks again, Scott and Jim

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B.15: 45 Architectural Modelmaking Exhibition

******B.15:45 ENDED IN JULY 2016.*****

*****A NEW EXHIBITION WILL OPEN IN SEPTEMBER 2016!*****

B15 Poster INVITE

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2015 will mark 45 years since the Kantorowich (now Humanities) Building and the B.15 Modelmaking workshop opened its doors to students.

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Students in the workshop back in 2001.

To mark this occasion we have decided to produce a retrospective exhibition to tell the story of those years and give an insight to the changes that have occurred here in terms of approaches to making and design. We will be opening up our archive to display examples of models across the last 5 decades alongside as many stories as we can compile. Whether you know it as ‘The Architecture Workshop’, ‘Ken Peacocks Workshop’, ‘The Modelmaking Workshop’, ‘SED’, ‘SEED B.15’ or ‘Jims Workshop’, B.15 holds many hundreds of memories for staff and students alike.

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The B.15 Workshop as it was in 2001.

1:50 Plaster Model of the Kantorowich Building

1:50 Plaster Model of the Kantorowich Building

The exhibition will open from 12th Spetember 2014 and run throughout our 45th year, 2015. Throughout that time we will post a variety of stories and media submitted to us in the lead up to this event.

The exhibition is open to all from 09.00 until 17.00 on week days during term time.

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A Platform to Archive

Whilst this exhibition will present a range of making over the last 45 Years here in Manchester we would like to continue to expand our archive and record and even more in depth history of Modelmaking in Architecture. With this in mind we would like to encourage and welcome any further stories or media, physical or digital to keep expanding our heritage collections. If you have any stories, images or models from the history of the university as a whole please get in touch to help us expand our archive and heritage collection.

Please share this link with any groups or alumni that are related to the school to help us expand our archive and heritage understanding:

https://selectsurveys.humanities.manchester.ac.uk/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=92MH6l42

Many thanks for all of your support so far!

Scott and Jim

B.15:45 ARCHITECTURAL MODELMAKING EXHIBITION – Job Done

At long last we have completed our snapshot look at the past 45 years of the B.15 Modelmaking workshop at the University of Manchester.

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It’s been challenging and fascinating taking this from an idea to reality over the last year. We’ve had a lot of fun putting this all together and hope you learn and enjoy it as much as we have.

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It goes without saying that there’s a lot of thanks to others for helping us along the way. In particular we’d like to acknowledge Louise & Saul Parker-Backhouse and Paul Thornber who went above an beyond the call of duty to give their time and help us get this fantastic collection on display.

If you’re not joining us this evening for the private view we’ll see you soon to start making exhibits for the next one…

Scott and Jim

‘Testing The Machines Of A Third Industrial Revolution’ Cross Section Presentation Model, Abhi Chauhan

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This project was completed in the final weeks of the last academic year by 6th year MA Student Abhi Chauhan. The project is the follow on to the 1:100 section we featured several months back. What is particularly appropriate about the styling of this project is the subject matter or the site. Being a 3D Printing Manufacturing facility of the future means no better method of production that the technology in question. This is definitely something to consider when devoting yourself to a major project like this – for example, if you are building an eco-concious design then that ethic should carry through to your presentation and thus model construction. This project sticks to its purpose through and through.

Abhi has been since graduated and started a full time position at Grimshaws in London. We wish him all the best in his future career!

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This piece will be on display as part of our B.15:45 Exhibition so be sure to have a look in person.

Abhi has kindly written us this extensive account of the theory and construction methods he used in this stunning final piece. Enjoy!

This model is a final exhibition 1:50 sectional model. The slice is located through a key component of the building scheme titled ‘The Machines Of A Third Industrial Revolution’ The model slice – in detail depicts the processes of 3d printing of 1:1 architectural components, to be tested on a stalled concrete frame bounding the site. The design of the facility is such that it sits into a trench in the ground and features a folded roof structure which integrates a 3d printed park at ground level with the industrial processes of the facility within. The scale of the facility has been designed to be oversized, to deal with the variety of large scales that are needed in the manufacture of components for the construction industry.

The model builds upon the 1:100 sectional model completed earlier this year, and takes on a similar aesthetic to that of a cross section through a large industrial machine hanging of the walls of the facility.

The model has been constructed with a variety of different techniques.

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The base has been CNC cut from x15 18mm mdf sheets layered and glued together. This method, although not the most cost effective meant that each layer of the base could be designed to incorporate slots and grooves within for housing of the various components that would eventually complete the model.

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The red structural parts forming the portal steel frame structure hung within the trench were all constructed in 3ds max and then 3d printed on the ABS printer. These parts were then spray-painted to get the final red finish seen. Other components that were printed, include some of the facade components, and the series of storage tanks and pipes to the right of the trench. This method of manufacture was chosen sue to the time constraints, the subject matter of the project, and the complex shape of some of the parts.

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The roof was also 3d printed and a shelling script in grasshopper gave the folded structure a thickness to make watertight for 3d printing. This part was the most challenging to construct and after a variety of failed tests the part was printed at Hobs due to their larger printer beds (up to 1500mm wide) which allowed for the part to be printed as one component. Finishing the roof are a series of card panels (depicting a metal skin) which were laser cut and engraved. These were bonded to the 3d printed structural roof frame using spray mount.

The material archives (in white) set into the base of the model were the last parts to be 3d printed on the model, and were done on the powder 3d printers. These constructs were notoriously fragile and once installed in the base had their edges and portions of their rebuilt in white pollyfilla.

The remaining components making up the model have been formed from either 2 or 3mm clear acyclic. For example the 3d printers on the -2 level have been laser cut form a mixture of 2 and 3mm acrylic and then assembled to snap fit and slot together to avoid gluing. This clear aesthetic was chosen for a variety of the model parts as can be seen.

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The landscaped elements including the cranes and gantry and the main internal staircase were all laser cut from 2mm mdf. These part were all spray painted to the final grey and black finish shown.

The facade skin (resembling an ETFE system) was vacuum formed over a 3d printed mould. The mould was designed with groves in it and as such were expressed in the final plastic shells.

Before any parts were manufactured every part was modelled in 3d and then assembled to create a master digital model. (see image) Due to the large amount of parts on this model this was necessary to eliminate any unforeseen mistakes which would be harder to rectify once parts had already been cut.

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Each part of the model was treated as a mini project i.e. the main facade, the main stair case, the 3d printers on the ground floor, etc. Once these were all assembled and sprayed the whole model was put together like a giant jigsaw. Due to the fact that almost every part was digitally fabricated there were few tolerance errors during final assembly.

The model took approximately 3 weeks to translate from an actual section into model drawings and then 3 weeks to get all the parts cut and painted and a final week to assemble together.

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