Parametric Adjustable Mould


Award: Brookfield Multiplex Research Award

With the increased use of computation tools in architectural design, architects are increasingly exploring the use of complex curvature surface in their designs. Producing bespoke and variable panels allows buildings to be distinctive and increases the perceived value of the asset, particularly for civic or cooperate signature building. Current machinery often limits the realisation of such geometry. In existing industrial processes, doubly curved panels typically require an individual mould to be produced to form the panel. This is costly, time-consuming and generates much material waste as a by-product of the manufacturing process. In turn, it has an impact on the design which is often rationalised to reduce the tooling cost.

The invention developed in collaboration with the Melbourne School of Design eliminates the need to produce individual moulds for double curvature panel through a single variable mould design which is computer numerically controlled (CNC); thereby reducing waste and cost to the production cycle. Titled (P)arametric (A)justable (M)ould or PAM, the technology has a background algorithm and custom user interface that drives the CNC machine. The machine can be used to manufacture pre-cast concrete panel with a single mould and no immediate waste. A proof of concept prototype was developed and test panels verified to be near industry standard; tolerances of +/- 1 mm vs. design. A provisional patent of the technology was filed through University of Melbourne in Jan 2018.

Research team: Dr Paul Loh (UoM), David Leggett (LLDS), Daniel Prohasky, Tim Cameron and Ryan Huang