Additive Manufacturing of Heterogeneous Color and Translucency in Glass

Material gradients are gradual transitions between two or more material properties. This work explores how new digital fabrication methods can be used to translate such a concept into physical materiality. Rather than adding discrete elements with clear boundaries between materials, architects could compose materials and locally inscribe characteristics.

The work focuses on creating gradual transitions of color and translucency. Glass granules of varying color are distributed in an automated robotic process and fused in a kiln under high temperature. In a second step, panels are shaped on to doubly curved 3d printed moulds.

While glass is usually treated as an invisible material, the work highlights the optical properties of glass through color and shape as a carrier of information, a differentiated filter between inside and outside. The gradation of opacity slowly diffuses over the pane and varies the transmission of light and sight locally. When daylight or artificial light pass through the panels, unexpected color effects appear.

Keywords: Material gradation, Glass, Translucency and color in architecture, Programming architecture with material.

Published Dec 2018

Rena Giesecke | dbt

Doubly curved glass elements with curvature-dependent color and translucency gradient.