Material efficiency has always been a concern in architecture, now digital manufacturing techniques grant levels of efficiency far greater than previously imagined. This exercise explores efficiency by employing a flat bed laser cutter and creating a object that is 100% efficient out of a 10”x15” piece of 1/8” plexiglass. As an added level of material and fabrication understanding the students must construct their objects using no adhesives, they must utilize the precision of the machine and material to create connection between pieces. While this assignment directly confronts efficiency it also expresses the relationship between scalar representation of an object and full-scale construction.
Given as the introductory assignment of the semester, the lessons learned here permeate the course and become second nature in subsequent projects as materials become more costly. This type of understanding changes the way that students conceive of many of the digital fabrication machines that they will engage throughout the course and methods they can explore in their studio courses