Building on the ideas of highly customized 3D connections paired with already highly efficient stock sections, the Asterism projects by PATHfab serve as working prototypes for adapting any number of geometries into architectural, structural or furniture systems through the use of parametric strategies.
Initially, design research looked at versions of node connection types – i.e. accommodating round tube, round solid, square tube, wood dowels, etc. Layers of function specific to node type were also explored – features such as tenons, plugs, holes and slots for glue or welding, and pre-tapped standoffs (for attaching surfaces) all added to the potential adaptability of these systems.
Subsequent design efforts were directed at the ordering and sorting of members, nodes, and the optimization* of nodes for material and fabrication efficiencies. As the name implies, larger, more expansive systems potentially exist, however these projects are thought of as smaller recognizable subsets and as such, the bounds or figures were defined as legible ‘products’ for prototyping.
The freestanding spatial ‘screen’ leverages a traditional cross-shaped stub tenon for quick and precise assembly. High resolution 3D printed joints (optimised for minimal length) interface with slotted dowels – done with traditional table sawing and custom jigs.
The stool incorporates 3D printed stainless nodes coupled with stainless tube struts – plug welded to the nodes. Tapped holes on the upper nodes provide the means for fastening the seat with cap screws. These nodes provide substantial structural capacity and therefore move beyond use of 3D printing for mere formal exploration to fully functional components.
Basically these projects are prototypes which operate on the premise that complex geometries and assemblies can be made as easily and efficiently as similarly scaled projects which have much simpler geometry or standard assembly methods.