Applying Lost Foam Casting Aluminum and Computational Design into the Fabrication of Complex Structure Joint

  • Tianyu GuoEmail author
Conference paper


Lost foam casting employs polystyrene as the pattern material, and has been used for architecture construction industries extensively in the past. However, when it comes to being a pattern material, polystyrene is restricted with regards to geometry development. Using a series of comparison experiments for the numerous types of foam, it was found that a type of soft and elastic foam tube, which was able to be cut and deformed flexibly, had suitable physical characteristics for lost foam casting, which is a low-tech and popular fabrication method with a simple process and high production efficiency. On the other hand, recyclable aluminum was the pouring metal material used, due to its high availability and low price. Following this, based on the material behavior, the possible language of foam tube was explored. By cutting, deformation and different variations, foam tube is able to be developed for a number of organic geometries. Besides, due to foam tube’s characteristics, it is able to be morphed into a number of ranges and angles, and this is useful when it comes to building a joint system, joined with other types of pipe material, and subsequently architecture design. Simultaneously, the outcomes of Topology Optimization generation were used to control the geometry design during the conceptual design step of large scale complex structures, with sound structural rationality as well as aesthetic. By introducing this new design methodology, this thesis emphasizes the rethinking of the relationship between joints, complex structure and architecture from the view of joints, and advocates architects to extend the boundary of architecture continuously.


Lost foam casting Materiality Computational design methodology Architecture joint Complex structure 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bartlett School of Architecture, UCLLondonUK

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