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Spotlight: Snake – FAB FEST

'Snake' CUHK

At FAB FEST'17 we've seen some spectacular designs and innovative approaches to digital fabrication and material application. This post is reviewing one of the 'Fabrication' prize winner pavilion's - 'Snake' that was designed and built by students from Chinese University in Hong Kong.

Team that is lead by Adam Fingrut, has been coming to the festival for the past two years. We have recently received a message from Adam confirming their participation for the FAB FEST'18. We are excited and looking forward to seeing another great performance of the team.


Structure: The structure of the pavilion received a lot of admiration and set a high standard for future participants. Using few simple but effective techniques, team has designed a bendig loop that is also a cantilever. Very simple strategies, like decreasing the weight at the top of the pavilion and densifying the bottom to have more counter weight to keep the pavilion stable, helped the team to achieve the result of structurally strong, light and aesthetically pleasing pavilion.

Fabrication and assembly: 'Snake' team has chosen to use laser cutters to fabricate the components of the pavilion. Each component is formed of multiple faces that are joined using 'lip' technique. Components had fairly complex, therefore, laser cutting allowed to be time and cost effective.  This technique allows overlap and secure joint of each face. All faces are held together by a different member of the component that unifies the overall. All faces were assembled using zip-ties, what can be great technique if used correctly. 

Conclusions: Learning from this example is very important. The fabrication of this pavilion ticks many boxes of the coherent FAB FEST fabrication strategy: 1) optimise the shape and structure, by simple but effective strategies like increasing or decreasing the weight and scale where not necessary; 2) Understand that material does not join 'edge to edge' and needs extra help from 'lip' or other techniques; 3) Choose the right machine to be cost and time effective. Having more components does not necessary mean more cutting time. Research the fabrication technique capabilities. 4) Fit into your budget.

We hope that seeing these examples will help you in your design process and fabrication. Stay tuned to see more great examples and follow us on Insta @fabfest.london for more updates.