Creating Complex Concrete Structures with Augmented Reality and PVC Pipes


Slab House Proposal / Skeleton. Image Cortesía de reBENT

Slab House Proposal / Skeleton. Image Cortesía de reBENT

The reBENT project, developed by the Research Group 9 of the March 2019-20 Program of the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL), explores the interactive relationship between augmented reality (AR) and manual construction processes using PVC pipes –highly resistant and cheap– as a base research material. In addition to taking advantage of its active bending properties to interact with AR, this material provides a fast and affordable system for the creation of complex concrete structures made by weaving together a series of bent PVC pipes and reinforcing bars, which are then used as formwork for glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC).

So far, the exploration of this hybrid approach –neither purely analog nor purely automated– has led to the design of prototypes, architectural elements, and habitable structures. In addition, the team developed an augmented reality platform for Microsoft Hololens in order to guide the construction and customization process through holograms.

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