TetraHouse is a building module that allows users construct a small house then change it, move it, expand it or sell it later. Rearranging your house should be like rearranging furniture. Upgrading your house should be like updating software. We can achieve this by having a core framework that allows users to mix and match components, even designing their own. All changes in design should be compatible and interchangeable with previous iterations.
TetraHouse is informed by a serious design constraint. My goal is to create a system that leaves the majority of building materials unaltered. With no alteration, building becomes faster and easier. Even better, the unaltered material remains a liquid asset in an open economy. Home Depot should be like a library where you check out a material from the economy, then return it later. Tetrahouse uses a tetrahedral lattice shape, chosen for its strength and versatility. The lattice culminates in square 96″x96″ brackets. Two sheets of standard 48″x96″ building material can be placed in the bracket.
The structure seeks to benefit from the advent of new fabrication technology, namely : the CNC router. I want use it as much as possible and also as little as possible. CNC drives the cost of fabrication through the roof, but also has very unique benefits that are game changing. The CNC is a larger and more versatile 3d printer, even allowing the user to turn trash into sophisticated useful objects.
Properly Using CNC
The early internet could have run a Facebook-like service but it actually took us a couple decades to figure out the true purpose of the internet…social media. We were limited by our imaginations more than the physical constraints of the technology. This new fabrication technology is no different. We’re still in infant stages and people haven’t gotten over the raw fetish quality of 3d printing, despite the fact that no one has ever seen a useful 3d printed object. Plastic injection molding is 100 times more efficient than 3d printing, but people still insist on 3d printing mundane objects like light switch covers. The TetraHouse uses CNC technology intelligently. All the structural complexities that require CNC processing are isolated to the smallest components; the nodes. Every component can be cut on a 24″x48″ bed which is dramatically smaller than what all other contemporary designs require. The small bed allows the CNC to be a job site tool, instead of a tool in a huge warehouse on the outskirts of town. At any given juncture in the design process TSAZ/TetraHouse will tend towards accessibility and diffuse infrastructure.
Most of the work has been in designing the LoseeNode. I’ve named it after myself to bind my identity inextricably with the object. If I give it to the world for free I at least want credit…so help me out here people.
Again this object is heavily informed by my design constraints. The goal here is to divide material. Like origami, every part of the paper is used in the final piece. Every fold is a division of space. Imagine Escher drawing yin-yang made of trash. The goal is to eliminate trash. Every off-cut should be another part of the puzzle.
If every piece shares an edge with another piece the CNC time, energy input, and wear-and-tear is CUT IN HALF. Not to brag, but my files are 5 times more efficient than all other similar contemporary designs. The raw material per coupler is $4. The small parts make it way easier to cannibalize scrap chunks or even old structures. Many of my parts are made for free from trash. It’s not easy to design such an efficient layout, but there it is.