Metal Euplectella Folie is a prototype that explores an innovative design and manufacturing method for custom architecture. The stitching of four 40m long steel strips, each cut according to a unique pattern and then wound into a spiral, allows the realization of a complex shape without adjustment, without an assembly plan and without a template. A beginning of existence with a potential that seems so unheard of that we can already presume its impact on tomorrow's architecture. To be discovered at the Ecole des Ponts ParisTech in Champs sur Marne.
Sccording to Robert Copé and Marc Weckstein, researchers at the Centre scientifique et technique du bâtiment, we need to invent design processes that allow buildings to adapt quickly to changes in life, climate change, etc. One solution put forward by these researchers is to design interchangeable envelopes that are disconnected from the structures. Thinner, but made of reinforced matrix composite materials. We can even go further: designing custom-made materials adapted to each situation.
The prototype Metal Euplectella Folie developed by Nicolas Leduc responds to research on the development of constructive principles and systems taking advantage of the geometric and constructive properties of developable surfacesThis is due in particular to the new possibilities offered by digital manufacturing tools.
The spectacular development of these digital techniques has a direct impact on architecture and the city. Computer-aided design and the development of digital simulation thus allow the emergence of new forms while at the same time accentuating the strategic component of the architecture and urban planning project.
"This experimental construction is the result of the crossing of two very distant inspirations: it inherits its organic morphology and its structural functioning in a thin shell from Euplectella AspergillumA deep sea sponge from the Western Pacific, otherwise known as the Venus Basket, which has the particularity of anchoring itself to the ocean floor thanks to thousands of filaments. The strength of these "spicules" surprises researchers who have discovered that each one is a fibreglass surrounded by coaxial cylinders, also made of silica, and separated from each other by layers of organic matter. Moreover, in this microscopic composite, the thickness of the silica cylinders decreases from the core of the spicule to its periphery. A complex structure refined by biological evolution, which redistributes the forces inside the spicule, which explains the tenacity of these thin filaments. This model has been validated by numerical simulations. The researchers believe that their results could inspire new design strategies for composite materials with innovative mechanical characteristics. (Source The New Factory).
Its method of manufacture, as for him, finds its origin in the industrial process of production of the helical tubes. For these tubes, which are generally large in cross-section and thin-walled, a continuous, straight strip of constant width is wound on itself in the form of a helical cylinder. By allowing the strip to be of any shape and variable width, a new field of formal possibilities is opened up.
In the design of this prototype, it is not one, but four expandable strips of about 40 metres, which were modelled in three dimensions and then subdivided into 72 panels of galvanised steel, each one and a half millimetres thick.
The development of these panels provides the cutting patterns, which, thanks to the unique shape of the edges, the location of the holes and the engraving of marks, contain all the information about the geometry and the assembly process. The assembly could thus be carried out without a plan or template in four days by two people in the company's workshops.
This first prototype suggests potentialities for the realization of fluid, continuous, surprising, structurally efficient spaces, made possible by this innovative construction method. Among these possibilities, more daring geometries, here prevented by transport constraints, or more complex topologies (multi-branch tubes), can be envisaged without losing the constructive advantages proven here.
This construction was developed by Nicolas Leduc as part of a CIFRE thesis in progress: "Building with developable surfaces". It is the result of a close collaboration between :