The pioneering construction method of the Smart Slab uses 3D-printed formwork for casting and spraying concrete in geometrically complex shapes. 3D printing overcomes the geometric limitations of traditional formwork fabrication methods. Furthermore, it enables the construction of integrative concrete elements with elaborate, free-form, and highly detailed surfaces and smart construction details. 3D printing has the added benefit that geometric complexity and differentiation come at no additional production cost.
The Smart Slab is a fully functional structural element that showcases an exquisite digitally designed geometry, with a deeply folded surface and millimeter-precise details. The computational design process uses the structural grid as a starting point to generate a basic mesh geometry with several dozen faces. After several iterations of selective subdivision sequences and parametric smoothing based on the relative position of the vertices within the slab, the articulated final surface is defined with around 13 million mesh faces.