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Robotic Pavers

Computationally designed, robotically-milled formwork for tessellated concrete pavers.

The goal of this research at Orange Coast College was to develop a concrete paver design using parametric design software to generate tessellations similar to M.C. Escher’s interlocking periodic drawings. Kuka robots were used to mill High-Density Foam blocks. The foam was used as a master mold to provide the negative for a silicone mold. A mixture of high-strength concrete and twisted steel fiber was poured into the silicone molds forming each interlocking paver. The software plugin Grasshopper3D for Rhinoceros 3D was used to generate the patterns.

Using the Parakeet Add-on, students were able to generate interlocking tessellations that could be used in an exterior application. Fusion 360 was used to generate the toolpath for each geometry and Octopuz was used to communicate the toolpath to the Kuka robots. Upon completion, 28-day testing was conducted and revealed a compressive strength of 18,000 PSI.

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