Making Visible: Creating an Architect's Guide to Customized Repetitive Manufacturing

Mar 27, 2013

With the use of computer numerical controlled (CNC) equipment, architects and manufacturers have been working together to customize the molds, jigs, or patterns used in repetitive manufacturing for specific project design’s building components. I am proposing the term 'customized repetitive manufacturing'D, or CRM, to reference this type of work. CRM is a necessary alternative to mass customization for the manufacturing of architectural components. CRM includes those repetitive manufacturing processes with relatively low capital costs and that can support low- to mid-volume production runs of repeatable objects. CRM allows for customization from the designer, while balancing the need for repetition in order to remain cost effective. This balance makes CRM easily applicable for the custom design of architectural components. This paper will make visible architects and building designers that have used CRM for their building designs. Through my research, I have selected twelve recently completed case studies; each of the case studies customized a different repetitive manufacturing process. Unfortunately, through my research I have found a lack of resources that are available to educate architects about customizable repetitive manufacturing processes. This paper will demonstrate that there is a need for a resource that illustrates the possibilities of customized repetitive manufacturing to architectural design.

Dana K. Gulling (North Carolina State University)
Proceedings of the 2013 ARCC Spring Research Conference
Presented at: 
The Visibility of Research
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Architectural Research Centers Consortium

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