Cladding Freeform Surfaces with Curved Metal Panels — a Complete Digital Production Chain
Motivated by increasing application in contemporary architectural projects, we showcase a unique state-of-the-art industrial process, which encompasses design and fabrication of free-form metal cladding for large doubly curved roofs and facades. The technology combines well-established methods of metal roofing with a completely digital workflow - starting from a 3D scan of the building, following with the approximation of the design surface as set of developable stripes and ending with the automated CNC-fabrication of individually curved panels from aluminium or steel coils. Since projects often require panel shapes and lengths, which are difficult to transport, the production units are mobile and can be shipped in two standard intermodal containers, enabling fabrication directly on-site. Geometrically, the system is based on tightly packed developable strips with non-parallel edges. Technically, it leads to a homogeneous, watertight and continuous surface without penetrations, which is easy to mount on a multitude of structural systems and thereby resolves the common problems that occur, when cladding doubly curved surfaces. The entire process has been successfully tested and proven on a number of large-scale projects, of which some are illustrated.
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