2 days to PUMPKIN!!!!

2011-10-28_1333[Top of Scott Davis’s 2011 submission]

A few early entries has come in, and they are lonely!  See!  They would like some company.  Cancel your Friday night plans.

Details on submission here.  Send images, files, video’s, whatever it is that gets the idea across. 

I will now jump in a leaf pile.


Make Your Own Tools: 2 pick Arches



Some students have been scratching their heads about how to get their parametric arches working.  The arches need to be defined by start and endpoints, and the height will flow from some formula driven by the length between start and end.  Here are 3 families showing 2 ways to get a parabolic arch and 1 way to get an arc segment.

Make Your Own Tools: 2 pick Arches

Download the families from here.

For further reference on a little bit of math that I’m using, check out this resource.


6 Days to Pumpkin

PUMP1[John Fout’s 2010 Mudbox submission]

6 days to make a pumpkin! That’s loads of time, so get to it!  Plant the seeds, water it, sprinkle it with 00010100100100101’s, and send it in.

4th Annual Parametric Pumpkin Carving FAQ:

I made my pumpkin out of real pumpkin, can I still submit it?  Yes, absolutely, but please take pictures, don’t send in original perishable items.  The Buildz hollowed out volcano lair begins to smell a bit funky.

I try and adjust my pumpkin’s parameters, but nothing (interesting) happens. Why?  This is common, and happens to lots of people’s pumpkins.  You might be trying too hard.  Try taking a hot bath, or a little wine and some candles, then try again.

My pumpkin is almost ready, but I could use some help.  Can I send in a question?  Yes, no guarantee that I can answer it, but will try.  Remember: there are no stupid questions, only stupid people who don’t ask questions.

I think my pumpkin might actually be a gourd? That is not actually a question, but a statement with a high pitched ending to make it sound like a question.  It makes you sound cheap and ditzy.  And you should support your gourd/questioning pumpkin in whatever lifestyle choices it feels comfortable with.

More FAQ.


Gaudian Columns


I’ve been reading Mark Burry’s excellent Scripting Cultures:  Architectural and Design Programming, and there’s a nice discussion of recreating Gaudi’s design intent for the Passion Façade narthex of the Sagrada Familia Church.  One feature is a column created by combining a hyperbaloid of revolution with a series of hyperbolic parabaloids.  That is to say, there is a tilted nuclear reactor column shape


that is expanded on the top and bottom with saddle shapes. 


As with most of Gaudi’s later stuff, one of the very cool things is that these forms are well understood in terms of fabrication, as they are ruled surfaces.  It also means you can also think of them pretty cleanly in terms of guidelines and resultant form.  Nice for parametric modeling!

For my Revit model, I started with an adaptive component with 2 adaptive points with circles hosted on their “normal” workplanes.  These will define the top and bottom and convey the tilt of the host plane. ( This is a little different from Mark Burry’s study, as he is tilting the column and then slicing it off, which makes a very different form, but I may try that method another time.) 



The circle is actually 2 semi-circles, and they are hosted on a reference line that is hosted on the normal plane of the point.  This allows me to create a rotational parameter to crank the top and bottom.  From this I can make my basic hyperbola of revolution


Next I need to create points on the column that will host 3 of the 4 points for each of my saddle shapes. 

I host 4 points on the 2 circles , each one paired with the parameters of a counterpart on the other circle.


This allows me to connect the dots and instantiate straight line connections that precisely follow the ruled surface.  I can also derive the point of intersection of these 2 lines on the surface.


To create my saddle shape, I need 2 skew lines that each start at the edges of the column, and one ends along one of the ruled lines of the column, and the other lies on my hosting surface.


When I select these 2 lines and hit Create Form, I get this nice saddle shape


Which also precisely corresponds with the surface of the column.

(Unfortunately it is just a surface, I need to go back and look at strategies to make it a solid.) 

After making this twice (Gaudi’s does this 4 times, on top and bottom) and adding some parameters to establish some basic proportions, I can go to bananas and just start placing it on stuff in a host element.  They need to be vertically aligned along the axis of the fins for the tangencies to work out, but otherwise, it’s good to go. 


So, there is a lot more to what is going on in the Narthex (isn’t that fun to say?  Narthex, narthex narthex), and the family I made has some more tricks buried in it,  but I think this shows a couple of interesting principles.  Download the adaptive component from here


Intro to Repeat, Intersects and Adaptive Components

Here is a minimally edited recording of a class I did this morning for Dennis Shelden’s Digital Fabrication and Construction class at MIT.  Starting from new template files, we create nested building masses to isolate building form from component elements, create an abstracted double skin façade condition, and make components that establish relationships between interior and exterior skins. This builds on a basic understanding of form element creation and divided surface creation (sorry, the recording from that class failed).
Intro to Repeat, Intersects and Adaptive Components
You can download the stepped datasets here.


Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land

Just freaking awesome, it’s all there.  Dig the conic sections at 24:24

Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land


4th Annual Parametric Pumpkin Carving


The cooling mass of grape mash gently fermenting in the shed is almost ready to drink, the smell of rotten leaves and politicians is growing stronger.  It must be the best season EVER:  AUTUMN!

And YES!  The 4th Annual Parametric Pumpkin Carving!  Sharpen up your #2’s, and also your pencils, it’s time to express the design intent and relational organization of pumpkins!

Prizes, as always, will be awarded for The Goodest, The Baddest, and The Mostest Parametric.

We at Buildz Cucurbita Emporium are platform agnostic.  Submit entries from whatever platform you are comfortable in:  Blender, Catia, Revit, GC, Sketchup, Rhino, 123d, marshmallow/spaghetti, rubber bands, all are welcome. Our factory judges are not judgy.  Well, they are, but not about your tools or you.  We may frown upon your choice of shoes though.

Along with receiving bragging rights, the winners will have their work showcased on these pages to TENS of readers and receive a valuable piece of Buildz schwag.

Entries must be received by 12 noon EST Oct 28. Winners will be announced at midnight on Halloween.

So pour yourself a PBR, fire up the Antikythera mechanism, and make a performance based, LEED certified, direct-to-fabrication, cloud computed, optimized, object-oriented,  and/or algorithmically pluralistic Jack O’Lantern. Post entries to zachkron@gmail.com, at least a screenshot, but feel free to send models, journals, parameters, videos, scripts, whatever, modeled in whatever you like. If you have some huge file, please send a link or let me know and we can work out some kind of upload.  Show how relational and multi-notional a carved vegetable can be.

Make good stuff!