Buskerud Betong


Balcony generator

This project was originally a consultancy request from a manufacturer of concrete products for the architecture engineering and construction (AEC) industry. The manufacturer was in a situation of overload, in a seemingly standard housing project balcony delivery. The reason for this was that they discovered, late in a project, that all the balconies were in fact of different shapes. They were not identical copies as first assumed. Therefore, the balcony molds had to be constructed individually, each with their own mold - which is a lot of work.

We saw the potential to automate the process using Grasshopper and Rhino, and went ahead making a script. The script takes a few inputs like outline, water outlet positions, drainage tracks, dripping lips and drainage angles. Then the script proceeds to produce finished geometry. The output is STEP-files fully constructed and dimensioned. 

The interesting learning from this project was that there were no random errors and the quality of the delivery was perfect with no human errors. If there was an error, it would be everywhere and therefore very easy to discover. Programming CAD modeling tasks like this gives the following main advantages: 1) Repeatability, 2) Precision, 3) Changes can be implemented instantaneously (as long as they follow the system), and 4) A large efficiency gain if the number of models is large.

Our main delivery in this project was about 50 files, one for each balcony, converted to ANSYS Spaceclaim format (the client's own CAD/CAM system). They provided all the geometry needed for constructing the molds and getting the lifting points, center of gravity, weight, etc.