“Grey Bird Tower”

The story of a laser cutted, vertical wood structure that tried to reach the Moscovite blue sky.  Made by Mikhail Pikman, Maksim Shurygin and Pablo Goldin

In order to understand the pressfit technique, we were assigned to build a plywood tower with only three types of pieces that were no bigger than 15cm in X and Y.

The project was realized with autocad for drafting and cutted in a lasser cutting machine Raylogic AS 1290.

Our strategy was to create the larger quantity of pieces and to make the tower as narrow and vertical  as  possible. We decided to cross the pieces in 90 degrees and have the maximum contact surface to give more rigidity to the tower. The building design was planned in a canonical manner through clear elements and modulated in multiples of .15 cm: -A large base made of two pieces. -The body made with levels composed of four columns and two crossing beams. -The top that would be generated with the addition of columns.

Even tho we realized during our first test that the size of the interlacing space could not be defined in a very precise way because of the thickness of the laser and that the plywood was not completely flat surface  producing variations in the Z plane, we considered that the tower could still resist and be rigid enough to stand high. In addition to that hipothesis we didn’t wanted to lose the thin and elegant proportion of the complete design.

The first obstacle we faced was that the plywood got even more curved because of the humidity so we had to cut the material in half and adapt our DXF. file in the last minute. It is important to understand that the cutting software does not read “blocks” from autocad which is a very common technique for drawing and that we must not leave any “double” lines in the drawing because the laser will pass two times over the same place and reduce the size of the piece.

As a consequence, when we built our tower, instead of working as a single rigid element, the addition of minimal imperfections produced a larger deficient structural behavior that ended up in a non sufficiently stable tower who failed to reach the sky because of her ambitiousness in the same way that Icaro.

In a second essay we reduced the size of the connection points and the system worked much better nevertheless it was too tight so we combined the pieces from the first essay and the second and we achieved the tallest tower with success.


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