Innovative Future Tree was built by robots and 3D-printing

July 29, 2020 by  
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Robotic construction has taken another step forward with the Future Tree, a recently completed timber canopy built with robots in a project by Gramazio Kohler Research and ETH Zurich . Completed in October 2019, following 2 years of planning and approximately 4 months of construction, the Future Tree is a study of complex timber structures and digital concrete. The tree-like canopy was installed over the courtyard of the office building extension of Basler & Hofmann in Esslingen, Switzerland. An industrial robot was used to fabricate and assemble the Future Tree’s 380 timber elements made from acetylated pine wood and fitted with full-threaded screws and tension cables to form a reciprocal frame. The structure’s canopy-like crown is supported by a single, trunk-like concrete column and anchored to the office building on two sides while cantilevering on the opposite corner. Related: Robots weave an insect-inspired carbon-fiber forest in London “The frame’s geometry is informed by its structural behaviour, differentiating its flexural rigidity by playing with the opening of the reciprocal knots to achieve a higher stiffness in the cantilevering part,” Gramazio Kohler Research’s explained. “To integrate geometric, structural and fabrication concerns we developed a custom computational model of the design.” Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of the project is Future Tree’s reinforced concrete column, which was made with a novel fabrication process called “Eggshell” that combines an ultra-thin, robotically 3D-printed formwork with fast-hardening concrete. As the first built example using this fabrication process, Future Tree “shows [how] non-standard concrete structures can be fabricated efficiently, economically and sustainably,” according to Gramazio Kohler Research. Because the formwork — which is 3D-printed to a thickness of 1.5 millimeters using a robotic arm — is filled with fast-hardening concrete in a layer-by-layer casting process to minimize hydrostatic pressure, it can be recycled and reused after the concrete has hydrated. + Gramazio Kohler Research Images by Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich and Basler & Hofmann AG

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Innovative Future Tree was built by robots and 3D-printing

Tiny electric car smashes world record by hitting 0-60 mph in 1.5 seconds

June 23, 2016 by  
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A team of 30 Swiss students have created the fastest-accelerating car in the world – and it’s 100% electric . In just 1.513 seconds , the Grimsel race car can go from zero to 60 miles per hour (100 km/h) — in fact, it’s half a second faster than Tesla’s ” Ludicrous Mode ” for the Model S. The car managed to reach this speed after covering less than 98 feet (30 meters) of track at the Dübendorf air base near Zurich. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-NCH8ct24U&feature=youtu.be The previous world acceleration record was 1.779 seconds, a time claimed last year by a team from the University of Stuttgart. To achieve this lightning-fast acceleration, the team constructed the car from mostly carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb, installed four-wheel drive, and integrated an onboard computer to apply traction control to each individual wheel. In addition to its speed, the car is incredibly lightweight at only 370 lbs (168 kg). The Grimsel also features a custom motor developed by the student team, who say they were unable to find any existing motors on the market that suited their purposes. In fact, the tires, cells for the battery , motor controls, and some of the small electronic components are the only parts of the car that were purchased or sponsored by outside companies. The rest of the vehicle was created custom for a student racing competition. Related: Tesla is working on an electric motor that lasts a million miles The Academic Motorsports Club Zurich (AMZ), the team behind the car, is made up of students from ETH Zurich and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts for the Formula Student competition. Despite these university affiliations, the team is financially independent and receives sponsorship from a number of sources. The Grimsel is the fifth electric car created by AMZ’s members since 2010, although the team originally started out building cars with combustion engines in 2006. + AMZ Racing Via The Verge Images via ETH Zurich

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Tiny electric car smashes world record by hitting 0-60 mph in 1.5 seconds

The Armadillo Vault’s hundreds of limestone slabs are held together without glue

June 7, 2016 by  
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ETH Zurich’s Block Research Group worked in collaboration with engineering firm Ochsendorf DeJong & Block and masonry specialist The Escobedo Group to bring the structure to life using expertly designed compression techniques. 399 limestone slabs were brought together after mapping out the technique on RhinoVAULT , a design plugin licensed by the group. Philippe Block and Tom Van Mele of the research group said, “Without any glue or mortar, with perfectly dry connections, this is really a milestone for stone engineering.” Related: 26 years, 9 tons of limestone, and a whole lot of love went into this magical fairytale house The Armadillo Vault spans 16 meters (about 20 feet), yet some sections are only as thick as five centimeters. Proportionally, the structure is half the thickness of an eggshell and remarkably strong. Each slab of limestone was left unfinished on the bottom side for time’s sake, creating an exterior resembling an armadillo shell and an underbelly of textured stripes. The intentional choice of finicky limestone demonstrates how the “relationship between geometry and forces” can be achieved with precision and respect for the materials. Once the Venice Biennale ends, the Armadillo Vault will be moved to a different location. Described as an “intricate 3D puzzle ” by the team, the structure can be disassembled and put back together while still maintaining its stability. +ETH Zurich Via  Dezeen Images via Iwan Baan , David Escobedo ,  Anna Maragkoudaki

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The Armadillo Vault’s hundreds of limestone slabs are held together without glue

Swiss students design wooden floating island for Lake Zurich art event

November 16, 2015 by  
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Wood never looked so good. Working with Studio Tom Emerson , a group of talented Swiss students from ETH Zurich have designed a floating island that will be the centerpiece of Zurich’s 2016 Manifesta festival . A biennial celebration of contemporary art located on Lake Zurich, the  Pavillon of Reflections, which will serve as the central node for the 100-day festival , will have an open-air cinema, LED screen, and an integrated swimming pool. Read the rest of Swiss students design wooden floating island for Lake Zurich art event

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Swiss students design wooden floating island for Lake Zurich art event

Student-designed Scalevo wheelchair scales stairs on its own

July 10, 2015 by  
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When a location lacks in wheelchair accessibility it can be a highly frustrating experience, and one that often makes it remarkably hard to maintain independence. But the all-electric Scalevo wheelchair , designed by a team of 10 students from ETH Zurich , not only provides smooth mobility for the user with a Segway-like two-wheeled system, but it can also climb and descend stairs using a set of retractable tracks. Read the rest of Student-designed Scalevo wheelchair scales stairs on its own Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: assistive devices , ETH Zurich , scalevo , segway , student design , student tech , wheelchair accessibility , wheelchair stairs , wheelchair tracks

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Student-designed Scalevo wheelchair scales stairs on its own

Urban-Think Tank’s Empower Shack Could Reshape the Face of Slums Across South Africa

March 7, 2014 by  
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Design collective Urban-Think Tank recently released plans for housing that could help improve the infrastructure and general living conditions for residents of South Africa’s informal settlements . Empower Shack is a two storey structure designed to be affordable and easy to replicate in other areas. With more than 15 percent of the country’s population housed in 2,700 slum towns, it’s an important step that could help address extreme economic inequality. Read the rest of Urban-Think Tank’s Empower Shack Could Reshape the Face of Slums Across South Africa Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: affordable housing in South Africa , Alfredo Brillembourg , Empower Shack , ETH Zurich , informal settlement infrastructure , Khayelitsha township , Phumezo Tsibanto , urban think tank        

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Urban-Think Tank’s Empower Shack Could Reshape the Face of Slums Across South Africa

‘Hyper Density Hyper Landscape’ is a Vibrant Green-Grid Master Plan for Dallas, Texas

March 7, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of ‘Hyper Density Hyper Landscape’ is a Vibrant Green-Grid Master Plan for Dallas, Texas Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Connected City Design Challenge , dallas architecture , green architecture , green infrastructure , green master plan , green transportation , Hyper Density Hyper Landscape Dallas , master plan design , shop architects , Stoss architects , urban forests , urban garden        

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‘Hyper Density Hyper Landscape’ is a Vibrant Green-Grid Master Plan for Dallas, Texas

Switzerland’s NEST High Rise is a Modular Test Bed for the Future of Green Building Technology

September 25, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Switzerland’s NEST High Rise is a Modular Test Bed for the Future of Green Building Technology Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , Eawag , eco design , eco lab , EMPA , EPF Lausanne , ETH Domain , ETH Zurich , green architecture , Green Building , green building technologies , green design , living laboratory , modular , modular building , modular construction , modular housing , nest , NEST is supported by Empa , research lab , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , sustainable strategies , sustainable systems , swiss research , Switzerland        

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Switzerland’s NEST High Rise is a Modular Test Bed for the Future of Green Building Technology

Switzerland’s NEST High Rise is a Modular Test Bed for the Future of Green Building Technology

September 25, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Switzerland’s NEST High Rise is a Modular Test Bed for the Future of Green Building Technology Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , Eawag , eco design , eco lab , EMPA , EPF Lausanne , ETH Domain , ETH Zurich , green architecture , Green Building , green building technologies , green design , living laboratory , modular , modular building , modular construction , modular housing , nest , NEST is supported by Empa , research lab , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , sustainable strategies , sustainable systems , swiss research , Switzerland        

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Switzerland’s NEST High Rise is a Modular Test Bed for the Future of Green Building Technology

Tiny Tin Nanocrystals Help Form the Lithium-Ion Battery of the Future

April 15, 2013 by  
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From cell phones to electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries are the power pack of choice. They are capable of keeping large amounts of energy in a small space with relatively little weight, making them an efficient means of saving and delivering electricity. Researchers led by Maksym Kovalenko from the Laboratory of Inorganic Chemistry at ETH Zurich and Empa have developed a battery using tin nanocrystals for the anode that enable twice as much energy to be stored. Read the rest of Tiny Tin Nanocrystals Help Form the Lithium-Ion Battery of the Future Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: anode , electrolyte , EMPA , ETH Zurich , lithium ion battery , maksym kovalenko , nanocrystal , nanomaterial , tin        

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Tiny Tin Nanocrystals Help Form the Lithium-Ion Battery of the Future

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