ScanToProduction is a material oriented design/production process, integrating digital scanning, computer aided design and digital fabrication in a one-shot process. This process is a modern translation of how craftsman reads characteristics of natural materials and dynamically reflects on fabrication processes. Thanks to the recent inexpensive sensing devices and the exponential rise of computing power, finally tools are able to adapt their machining processes to the heterogeneous nature of materials!
As an example of ScanToProduction, “Digitized Grain” was exhibited in Milano Salone 2013 Ventura at Work. In the exhibition, 16 Digitized Grain planks were erected, emulating an artificial forest as well as demonstrating applications in living environments.
Digitized Grain was originally initiated as a research project about gradient material transition where different materials are gradually changing from one to another. The outcome was a hybridization of materials on a transition enabled by a superposed vivid material texture on both materials. Digitized Grain uses wood grain as a texture mediating the contrasted material combination between wood and polyester resin regarding their mechanical properties (opaque <-> transparent, elastic <-> rigid) and emotional materiality (natural <-> synthetic).
For the automated production process, the material features are digitally scanned, image-processed and translated into motion paths for a seven-axis industrial robotic arm. This sequence of operations are executed by an algorithm and then transmitted to any kind of cnc machine that operates following the inputs generated by the program. The program can flexibly change the amount of tooling and resolutions of image processing. Also target materials are flexible, combinations such as marble stone and casting metal.
Due to the flexible process, we decided to show Digitized Grain as a material sample, or a meta-product, and let it open for design product applications such as product, furniture, interior design and architecture. Designing by designing materials, we see this approach is an opportunity. Furthermore, not only material hybridization, ScanToProduction is also open for engineering applications for example defects detections, scanning historical heritages and reinforcing them.
ScanToProduction @ Ventura at Work, Milano Design Week / 9-14 April, 2013 by
Hua Hao, Mathias Bernhard, Jessica In, David Schildberger, Demetris Shammas, Achilleas Xydis, Akihiko Tanigaito, Nan Jiang, Alessandro Tellini, Daniel Bachmann, Alessandro Mason.
Filmed and edited by Demetris Shammas