Graham Foundation Grant

i.M.A.D.E received a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts for a project entitled, “SmartScrap Digital Design | Fabrication System: Digitally Cataloging Building Industry Waste for Reuse through Parametric Modeling.” This funded project attempts to create value from the “scrap” stone leftover during the production process within the Indiana Limestone industry by cataloging the off-cuts into a “SmartScrap” database. Parallel research involves developing the computational means to apply the cataloged information to parametric design models in order to effectively reuse the waste.

While digital technologies have improved the flow of digital information from designer to fabricator, this system, entitled “SmartScrap”, is unique because it improves the flow of information from the fabrication process back to the initial design decision-making. Completing this digital information “feedback loop” will seamlessly inform design and fabrication decision making for the building industry based on available sizes, shapes, and quantities of leftover/waste stone inventories. This research will culminate in an ecologically-driven Pilot Investigation of proof-of-concept prototypes which demonstrate the SmartScrap concept.

This initial pilot investigation is being conducted with Indiana Limestone Fabricators, Inc. While this project deals exclusively with the limestone industry as a test-bed for the research, the economical and ecological benefits will make SmartScrap a valuable design/fabrication process with crossover potentials to other industries and initiatives. While this research does not deal with performance attributes of the limestone itself, it is specifically focused on uncovering value in materials that would normally be discarded. The potential for innovation lies in the modeling-visualization-prototyping-analysis-scripting process, as it promises to help with reducing and reusing a considerable amount of waste produced by one of Indiana’s largest manufacturing sectors.



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