Knit Preform Shaping


Architectural Research

Tan Ying Yi

Knit Preform Shaping is part of Ying Yi’s PhD research that presents an alternative fabrication strategy to manufacture doubly-curved freeform Glass Fibre Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) cladding panels for façade components or internal walls. It uses a customised glass fibre knitted textile preform which is edge-shaped and sprayed with polyester resin to become a solidified composite panel. Thus, this method moves away from the conventional manufacturing workflow of milling a solid mould for the repetitive and labour-intensive lamination process.

The design of the textile preform capitalises on CNC knitting to create textile panels of specific dimensions with integral continuous channels to insert bendable linear elements to shape the membrane surfaces. Various stitch patterns were investigated to select one with suitable elasticity in both wale and course directions.

In making a 1:1 scale panel, the research first investigates the design and integration of edge returns into the textile preform to facilitate panel-to-panel and panel-to-structure connections. This aims to manufacture GFRP panels that can be modular in the way they are mounted or detached, enabling a visually continuous envelope surface to be composed from an assembly of several panels. These edges are controlled by an adjustable shaping system to tension the textile and manipulate its geometry, while the surface was sprayed with polyester resin.

Further reading:
Tan, Y. Y. and Lee, T. L. (2019). Knit Preform Shaping – Design of Textile Preform and Edge-Shaping Mechanism for Curved Composite Panel Formation. In: M. Haeusler, M. A. Schnabel, T. Fukuda. Intelligent & Informed – Proceedings of the 24th CAADRIA Conference – Volume 1, 15-18 April 2019, Wellington. pp. 43-52.

Tan, Y. Y. and Lee, T. L. (2018). The Flexible Textile Mesh – Manufacture of Curved Perforated Cladding Panels. In: T. Fukuda, W. Huang, P. Janssen, K. Crolla, S. Alhadidi. earning, Adapting and Prototyping – Proceedings of the 23rd CAADRIA Conference – Volume 2, 17-19 May 2018, Beijing. pp. 349-358.