Computational Fabrication Design Lab (CFDL)

Computational Fabrication Design Lab (CFDL)

The Computational Fabrication Design Lab @ DesignTech is a research lab part of the program of industrial design.

Lab Director: Yoav Sterman

Background

We stand before the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution. In recent years we witnessed an extending advancement in the development of digital fabrication technologies such as 3D printing, robotic fabrication and digital knitting. These technologies together with IoT and AI, will shift industrial manufacturing from large plants to smaller, local digital factories, disrupting the business models and supply chains of entire industries. This revolution will transform not only how and where products are made, but also how products are designed, which therefore require new skills and knowledge from designers. Moreover, this shift will change designers’ approach to product design.

After years of detachment between design and manufacturing, the means of manufacturing will be democratized and accessible for designers and makers.  It can be presumed that designers will be engaged in the making, and fabrication will be an inseparable part of the design process. Much like before the first industrial revolution, designers will again craft products, this time digitally. Algorithms, coding and digital fabrication machines will be their fundamental and primary tools.

The Goal

The goal of the lab is to invent new digital manufacturing technologies and to establish new design workflows that will unlock design spaces and enable a future of customized products that are made on-demand and manufactured domestically.

Research focus

The lab will act as a hub for groundbreaking research in the field of Computational Fabrication to explore the correlation between computational design and digital manufacturing.

Lab research focus areas:

  • Smart digital textiles
  • Robotic assemblies & composites
  • Programmable Materials

Digital fabrication equipment at the lab includes:

  • STOLL ADF 530 Ki Bc W – Industrial digital knitting machine
  • TC2 digital weaving machine
  • Intamsys 510 Flex – industrial 3D printer designed for flexible materials
  • UR5 – Collaborative robotic arm
  • LiQ320 3D printer – Silicon 3D printer
  • MODELA MDX-50 – 3 Axis milling machine
  • Glowforge laser cutter

(Photo credit: Yuval Gur)