Branch Production: Robotic Methods for Whole Tree Structures


SOCIAL: @wyatt0111000110 @hookepark @aadesignandmake @aaschool


The Branch Production workshop will be focused on making architectural structures from tree branches. Using a robotic workflow consisting of 3D scanning, digital tools for automation and the high bay robotics cell at U of T Daniels, uniquely shaped tree branches will be cut into predictable forms at points of connection to other building elements.

Through the process of preparing the robotics cell for the scanning and fabrication workflows, participants will gain hands-on experience with a variety of softwares and hardwares. They will create stock holding fixtures, execute tool and workspace calibrations and set up scanning equipment. Once in operation, parts leaving the cell will require hand-finishing to prepare them for assembly. Once all the parts have been made, participants will work as a team to assemble a structure.

Workshop participants should have some knowledge of the 3d modelling software Rhinoceros and the visual scripting software Grasshopper. Prior to the workshop, participants should install the Kuka-PRC plugin.

This workshop demonstrates a method of architectural fabrication that is embedded within an approach to forestry that preferences species diversity. The industrial model that produces structural timber for buildings relies on a handful of species grown in predictable forms. This workshop points towards a new relationship with forests, one that opens the industry to biodiversity and considers the use of structures in the whole tree.