Visit to A Zahner Metals

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Institute for Digital Fabrication sponsored studio courses place a strong emphasis on forging partnerships with regional material manufacturers to promote and explore the potentials of designing and producing with advanced technologies. Many visits were made to different industries, including custom glass, brass casting, metal fabricators, Indiana limestone, and recycled rubber. Frequently, these visits lead to collaboration and offer students new knowledge of production methodologies, which are immediately fed into design and fabrication prototype strategies.

One such visit, in which students visited Zahner Metals in Kansas City, US, led to collaboration on the reBarn project for the engineering and fabrication information of custom textured aluminum panels—each panel unique. This industry collaboration informed the formal design intent through a series of conversations both direct and remote regarding the design and detailing of reBarn metal joints and skin panels. This kind of innovation through information in partnership with industry drives the energy for the studio design through production methodology.

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