04 – Casting – Crystal module [Process]

:: Design – Crystal module

To cast an object successfully, one must understand well the process of casting and the limitation of the tools.

Process of casting:

Step 1 – to mill the positive of the object in parts

Step 2 – to create a negative mold from the positive mill

Step 3 – to cast the positive

For this project, the geometry of the rhomboid cannot be casted with a straight forward 2 parts mold. This is because undercuts will be created in the positive mill.

Therefore, a six parts mold was designed to avoid all possible undercuts.

:: Step 1 – Milling

:: Machine – Techno CNC

Thickness of foam – 1.5″

Drill bit – 1/4 flat end

Horizontal roughing – 200% diameter step over and 200% step down

Parallel finishing – 15% step over

:: Step 2 – Mold making

:: Tools and materials – Sanding paper, Gesso, soap, 25 Mold Star

Before making the mold out from the milled positive, it was first sanded and then applied gesso and soap water.

25 Mold Star, Part A and Part B

Temporary chip board registration rings were cut from lasercutter for holding the 6 parts mold tight together.

A small self made funnel device was made for better pouring of the liquid.

After 10 minutes, the cast is ready. The extra part from the ventilation hole has to be cut after casting. Corners have to be sanded as well.

Final products


4.196 Special Problems in Architectural Design Complete Fabrications Nick Gelpi Mon-Fri, Jan 5-7, 10-11, 13-14, 18, 20-21, 24-25, 27-28, 01-04:00pm, 3-402/7-432studio, 1st mtg Wed 1/5 Pre-register on WebSIS and attend first class. No listeners Prereq: Permission of instructor ; Yr-1 MArch students who have completed 4.123 only Level: H 9 units Standard A - F Grading Can be repeated for credit Lab Fee: 150 A comprehensive introduction to methods of “making” explored through a wide range of brief but focused exercises. Skills = developing complex geometries from flat components; fine-tuning press fit construction, molding and casting, and making repeatable molds for customization. A two-part workshop, the first half will contextualize contemporary tools and techniques within the trajectories of historical case studies of building, combined with hands on familiarization of tools. The second half will implement the tools of our workshop in the context of Design. Working on group design build process for three MIT 150 FAST installations, students will test and influencing designs through the instrumentality of production. These hands-on design build projects are intended to produce reciprocity between skills and design, making more complete the problems of fabrication. Subject limited to year-one MArch students who have completed core-1 studio. Contact: Nick Gelpi, 9-224, 253-9415, -


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