INFRA: Intelligent manufacturing of realistic architectural models

The aim of this research project is the development of a new process for the automated conversion, configuration and scaling of a native CAD planning model into a production-ready architectural working model for additive manufacturing.

 INFRA: Intelligente Fertigung Realitätsgetreuer Architekturmodelle INFRA: Intelligente Fertigung Realitätsgetreuer Architekturmodelle (Image: CAD CAM Center Cologne)

The possibilities for virtual planning and construction of CAD models are constantly growing. The desire for an additional haptic model remains, due to the simplification of the planning or work process and the better assessment of the dimensions of individual components. Most of the existing virtual CAD models, however, cannot be produced additively without extensive manual processing. This required interface between the tools for the creation of CAD models and the 3D printing software is to be realized by the project INFRA.

Project content

To make the model printable, the first step is to create a bounding volume. In this process, visually described, a cloth is laid over the model and then only the areas between which there is contact are preserved. The resulting hollow inside the body is filled with so-called support structures to give the haptic model the necessary stability. The depth of detail is then automatically defined and adjusted based on the scale selected by the user. The selected level of detail is also determined by the resolution of the printer which is to be used. Based on an architectural set of rules, a decision is then made whether an object (e.g. a door) should be retained, simplified or, in extreme cases, even eliminated. The final result is a CAD model that is printable, but also meets the aesthetic requirements of a haptic working model. Finally, printability is guaranteed by automated error detection and correction.

At a Glance

Category Description
Research project INFRA: Intelligent manufacturing of realistic architectural models 
Administration Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christoph Ruschitzka, Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Margot Ruschitzka 
Faculty Automotive Systems and Production 
Partners Hoersch & Hennrich Architekten GbR 
Sponsors Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand (ZIM) (Central Innovation Programme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)) 
Duration 03.2017 - 02.2019