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Vol. 44 (2003) No. 3 December n. 143

Tsuboi Award paper: Wood-Foam Sandwich Shells: Computer-Aided Manufacturing of Complex Shapes

< Table of Contents for Vol. 44 (2003) No. 3 December n. 143
  • Journal Name: Journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (J. IASS)
  • ISSN: (Electronic Version) 1996-9015
  • ISSN: (Print Version) 1028-365X
  • Issue: Vol. 44 (2003) No. 3 December n. 143
  • Pages: 145-165
  • Title: Tsuboi Award paper: Wood-Foam Sandwich Shells: Computer-Aided Manufacturing of Complex Shapes
  • Author(s): M. Bechthold
  • Keywords: Wood Shells, Sandwich Construction, Computer-Aided Manufacturing, Parametric Design, Custom-Manufacturing
Shells, though potentially efficient structural systems, are difficult to build because of their complex shapes. The paper presents a new design and manufacturing process for wood-sandwich roof shells. These are complexly shaped multifunctional construction elements that are manufactured off-site. The proposed manufacturing process treats wood as a modern composite material. Thin wood strips and foams combine into structural sandwich panels that can then be joined into a roof shell. The geometrically complex panels are generated by a combination of subtractive Computer-Numerically-Controlled machining processes and manual lamination. Infrastructure elements can be embedded into the sandwich build-up in order to enhance the functionality of the roof as a building envelope. Numerical tools are proposed that allow the determination of manufacturing-related parameters in the digital design environment. These inform the architectural and structural design in the early design phases. The new manufacturing process for wood/foam sandwich shells is verified through the design and manufacturing of prototypes. Design guidelines are presented as the practical basis for architects and engineers to incorporate new types of roof shells into architectural projects.

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