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In 2019, Takenaka Corporation and MX3D initiated their first collaboration to explore the possibility of robotic WAAM technology in the production of large customized steel connectors for the infrastructure industry. The goal of the project was to automate both the design and production of complex connectors for large structures in the building industry.
After a successful collaboration Takenaka reached out to us for a new project, HAGOROMO BENCH. This time, the primary focus wasn’t on using traditional building industry or construction techniques. Instead, the benches were designed specifically to fit the WAAM technology specialized by MX3D. The benches were designed for the creative studio of Takenaka in Nagoya to show the potential of digital technology, and were printed in stainless steel.
HAGOROMO is the ancient Japanese scarf with the legend that the woman who descended from the sky flew wearing it. The HAGOROMO BENCH embodies the space with a free and creative mind. The shape surrounding the wide digital screen was designed by the iterative process of parametric modeling through xR adjustment and FEM analysis. This continuous shape matches various posture and induces diverse actions by a thin surface.
During the production phase, one of the challenges we had to face was that the surface consists largely of thin single walls. When the metal cools down the metal shrinks and therefore, warps. We solved this problem by printing the initial organic shape and stiffening elements on the back side at the same time. Due to the advantages of 3D printing, you can alternate your design while producing the piece without disrupting the production. Another way to reduce shrinkage is to control the interpass temperature.
“With MX3D’s technology and the collaboration with Takenaka, we show the world that we can now apply generative engineering and optimization algorithms into new shape languages and implement this into different industries.” – Kasper Siderius, MX3D
“We wanted to create lumps of light and soft shapes that would fit the human posture, by using the material and expression which were the furthest away from that image, and eventually were able to create works, abstract and yet making you feel like touching them, in a space aimed at accumulating knowledge.” – Hiroshi Hasegawa, Takenaka Corporation
Photograph credits: TOREAL, Koji Fujii