ferro tiles


This research focused on expanding a casting method originally developed in 2012 by David Kisailus, et al.
Working closely with scientists at the Wyss Institute, the design team (Zach Seibold, Jonathan Grinham, and I) developed a series of tools related to casting ferrofluid patterns into hardening solids. Our approach made it possible to use a single mold to produce tiles with a wide range of aesthetic and mechanical properties. My contributions included modifying the method to include materials frequently used in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries as well as using image processing to quantitatively predict aesthetic attributes of the finished product.
Results published at the 38th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA), October 2018.

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Original process (left) and modified process for clay bodies (right)

The original process had be modified for clay bodies, which shrank during the curing process, making them more susceptible to cracking. Amendments made included the addition of a plaster lid and gauze backing as well as reduction of the ferrofluid and clay quantities.

47 prototypes to get it right
I scanned the casts using X-ray microcomputed tomography.

This yielded a 3D model and snapshots of the tile topography along the z-axis. Using these individual z-slices, I performed fast Fourier transform (FFT) analysis on the images.