Courtesy ICD/ITKE, University of Stuttgart

Courtesy ICD/ITKE, University of Stuttgart

As part of its annual research demonstrator program, the Institute for Computational Design and Construction at the University of Stuttgart revealed its 2018/2019 pavilion inspired by the wings of ladybugs. Made of carbon and fiberglass-reinforced plastic, the structure features two adaptive folding elements and seating modeled from the pattern of the insect’s wings. “Many beetle species cover their thin and fragile hind wings with more robust forewings,” the team describes in a project description. “Through analysis and mathematical geometric descriptions, it was possible to investigate and abstract the kinematic [behavior], enabling distinct elastic hinge zones to be materialized with specifically programmed material gradients within the fiber-reinforced plastic.” Conceptualized by a team of architects, engineers, biologists, and paleontologists, this system is the institute’s first effort to incorporate pneumatic components with “industrial tape-laying technology for an automated fabrication of large-scale compliant mechanisms.” [University of Stuttgart]

AEC software company Autodesk announced this week that it has integrated BuildingConnected pre-construction software and its PlanGrid technology to help streamline data transfers ahead of construction. BuildingConnected can now send design files directly to PlanGrid, an issue that was previously a “major problem for project managers,” according to a press release. “The construction industry has struggled with transferring information from one project to another, and across the different phases of a building project,” said Autodesk vice president Dustin DeVan in the same release. “By reducing errors and the need for rework, this integration will help to mitigate overall project risk and help to ensure more predictable outcomes.” [Autodesk]