The Digital Design & Fabrication Lab is the continuation of the ‘Lab for Environmental Studies and Applications’ that was established with FEK 380/25-06-1990. It is reactivated through the supply of updated digital fabrication equipment and machinery in the context of the act ‘Commission of Laboratory Equipment for Fundamental Research in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki’ (ESPA 2007-2013) with the support of EU.
The main objective of the Digital Design & Fabrication Lab is to establish a link between design and manufacturing through the use of 3D modelling software and computer controlled fabrication machines. These tools allow designers to produce physical artefacts directly from digital models, to test their accuracy, and to evaluate their proposed structure prior to its construction. Furthermore, they introduce new ways of approaching architecture through its direct connection to materiality and the construction process that gives continuous feedback to design in a bottom-up fashion. Designers can propose complex objects, in which the implementation of fabrication techniques pushes design to new possibilities. In this process, the sequence of operations and the manufacturing procedures become a critical characteristic and it is a subject of constant research.
The Digital Design & Fabrication Lab provides 3D printing and rapid prototyping services also to research groups or establishments outside the field of architectural design that are interested on the 3D representation or digital fabrication of objects. These services may cover subjects that range from the modelling of microscopic biological structures, the construction of prototypes of mechanical parts, the assembly of innovative structural configurations, the production of industrial design artefacts, the digital or physical representation of archaeological findings, to the making of 3D models of urban settlements or geological formations. The Digital Design & Fabrication Lab promotes the collaboration between designers and scientists or professionals in these fields. It is a multi-disciplinary environment that enhances creativity.
The Digital Design & Fabrication Lab operates in the School of Architecture in the Faculty of Engineering. Its equipment includes the following machinery:
1. PLA Rapid Prototyping Machine. Max prototype dimensions 260*160*90 mm, tolerance 0.2 mm.
2. Monochrome 3D Powder Printer. Max prototype dimensions 200*250*200 mm, tolerance 0.1 mm.
3. 3axis CNC Router & Milling Machine. Max movement dimensions 1500*900*300 mm.
4. Thermal Vacuum Forming Machine. Max sheet dimensions 650*650 mm.
5. Laser Cutter, 40W. Max dimensions 450*610 mm.
6. Laser Cutter, 60W. Max dimensions 700*1000 mm.
7. 3D Scanner. Max distance 50-3000 mm, tolerance 50 μm.
8. Enroute, software for the analysis, the evaluation and the construction of 3D objects and reliefs.
9. Leios, reverse engineering software.
10. Big scale colour and monochrome plotters and printers.
Director: Stavros Vergopoulos, Assistant Professor
Scientific Committee: Maria Voyatzaki, Associate Professor, Anastasios Tellios, Assistant Professor
Technical Support: Konstantinos Pavlides, Vassilis Zafranas, Technical Assistants