From Voxels to Parts: Hierarchical Discrete Modeling for Design and Assembly

  • Andrea RossiEmail author
  • Oliver Tessmann
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 809)


Developing from researches on heterogeneous modelling and voxel-based design, as well as on digital materials and discrete assembly, the paper describes current developments of Wasp, a software tool for hierarchical discrete modelling of objects as aggregations of modular parts, with focus on the generation of architectural objects. By conceptualizing the discrete nature of the final objects already within the software, it becomes possible to model heterogenous artefacts composed of basic parts, which are reversibly joined into a complete aggregation. Within such framework, users are provided with different aggregation procedures to select rule sequences producing the desired outcomes, as well as basic utilities for part collisions avoidance, visualization and editing of the produced geometries. To increase control over designed objects, the framework has been extended to include hierarchical modelling with multi-resolution parts, more advanced generation and editing functions for voxel fields, multi-channel scalar fields and global constraints. Overall, the aim of the framework is to allow modelling of objects as aggregations of discrete units with reversible connections, hence allowing the production of architectural entities which could be assembled, disassembled, and reconfigured during their lifecycle.


Discrete design Voxel-based design Modular design 



The computational framework described in the paper has been developed and tested during seminars and design studios taught by the authors during the academic year 2016/17 and 2017/18 at the DDU Digital Design Unit at the Technical University Darmstadt. Students input has been a fundamental contribution to the development of the framework. Hence, the authors would like to thank: E. Allgeyer, A. Baraibar Jimenez, S. Bender, L. Bertoni, M. Carrion Fatjó, F. Danneker, C. Dormann, F. Dauphin, L. Fiedler, M. Gilles, M. Hamel, K. A. Henkel, F. Hinz, T. Ilhan, J. Keller, M. Knoll, S. M. Kotterer, S. Mehdizade, K. Münch, B. Nispel, A. Oboturov, L. Ostwald, L. Petzoldt, R. Qin, Z. Rui, A. S. Sanchez Wurm, M. Wang, Z. Xia.

The authors would also like to thank A. Stefas and L. PanahiKazemi, whose input highly contributed to the development of the ideas and the techniques behind the described research.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DDU Digital Design Unit—TU DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany

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