Final Project


My final project start with a previus studie about minimal forms.


Prototype of my Architecture Final Project


I want to re-create my Architecture Final Project with a new kind of structure and tensile mesh. I want that it moves depending of the amount of sun that receive. It will not be only a "dress" it will be the adaptable building's protection.




In my final year of Architecture I made several models, which helped me better understand the operation of the textile architecture and minimal surfaces.
After the models did parametric models using Rhinoceros and Grasshopper, I finally ended up doing renders with Vray Rhinoceros.







I want to build a new model that can be adaptable to changing amount of solar radiation. I can get it with a light sensor and a mobile mast.

I think in made it with a pneumatic ram, but maybe it's easier with a endless screw.



How can the project resist the solar radiation better? With the mesh protection. I can get it between two softwares: grasshopper and ecotect. It give to the project more transparency and breathable. This holes I can cut with the laser cutter and when the mesh is streched, the holes will be opened. (finally with the latex I can't do the holes because the latex brokes)


I want to try a non-fabric material, for example latex into slices. I want the project to be made as much as possible for me with non architectural material, it's a model!

The final project will be more complicated, but I prefer start with a very very simple model. If I can do it, I promise to become the project more complicated.In my Final Architectural Project my bulding have 97 masts! It was very funny and crazy project...




I was working with a steppers bipolar and I think I'm going to try to change the system and use a stepper...





I have a base to cover, for which I use a mast (spindle) and a surface (latex)
By stretching the surface lets more light to lose section. In addition, the latex has a micro holes produced by air bubbles when I made it. These holes let in even more light.




When the light is higher the facade will be lower, protected from light, when there is less light, the structure will rise, allowing more light path.


The first idea was to use a pulley system with a limit switch. The system is simple but could have many faults by depending an elastic rubber at the end of the rope. Therefore I kept thinking about how to fix it.

The solution was to simplify the process. Where is held the latex says what can go up and down the facade. So the solution was to put the limit at a low point before colliding with the motor base.

To be able to down the entire system decided on the base had rails, where the cables are accommodated. Besides the engine would be embedded in the base.




The idea is that the system always starts at the same point (micro switch). When the system is turned on it will find the lower limit. When it find it, all the system wait for 3 seconds (delay).

Then the light sensor is activated. When the amount of light is less than 600 facade ascend. As there is no race to the other end of the spindle I have limited what goes up:
1 mm = 200 steps
100mm = 2000 steps

When the amount of light is higher than 400 the facade descend.

When the amount of light is equal than 500 the system stop.




This is an outline of how the different boards are connected.





I tried to build or reuse whatever you use for the project. The spindle found her in the FabLab, the nut that holds the 3d printed piece was in the mechanical workshop of FUEM. The wooden base was a leftover piece of work FabLab. The Nema17 motor I boutght it second hand.

This is the hardware that I made:

-Base (milled wood)

-Latex surface

-Latex base holders (PLA)

-Latex Bracket (PLA)

-Spindle Nut Push (PLA)

-Spindle holder (PLA)

-Micro swicht holder (PLA)

-Cable holder pieces (PLA)

-Electronic holder (PLA)



3D Printing - Hold pieces, etc

CNC - wood base

Laser Cutting - Latex

Electronics milling

Interface programming

BASE. Milled wood. I have used 6mm mill. I have used two routines. Axis profiling and axis pocketing. The first thing I need to make holes that cross the wood because the wires going under so I make an axis profiling. I select the curves I need to make the holes.


The second thing I need is make the pockets. I will select the curves that I need. The second routine is a pocketing. I will use this pockets to place the eva rubber and the wiring cables pieces.


The small exterior rail is to hold the latx (see latex base holder) and the interior pocketing is to stock the cables. The base is raised to pass cables below. For this I designed the Base Holder Latex.


LATEX SURFACE. At first I wanted to use a fabric but I decided to make everything I could for my final project, so I decided to make a thin layer of latex to hang on the efforts of the movement of the project. I have made some test (week 12 molding and casting).

To hold the latex to the base I need a 3d piece that fit into a rail made in the base wood. Also I designed a 3d piece to hold the latex witn the spindile.

Latex surface making off from Jose Real on Vimeo.

mechanical test 1 from Jose Real on Vimeo.


LATEX BASE HOLDER. I need to hold the latex with a piece. I designed the piece to fit the outside rail of the wooden base. I've also added a hole if enough grip was not optimal and hold the piece with chipboard screws. (It has not been necessary) To prevent the latex scratch, I used rubber eva.

To hold the latex firts I use a tape.


LATEX BRACKET. I need to hold the latex with a piece. I need two pieces to hold the latex. To tight the piece I use six screws. To prevent the latex scratch, I used rubber eva.

SPINDLE NUT PUSH. On top of this piece is the Latex bracket.. I have attached a nut which is hosted in the spindle.




SPINDLE HOLDER. This piece join the splindle with the stepper motor Nema 17. I need screws, nuts and washers for proper hold.


MICRO SWITCH HOLDER and CABLE HOLDER PIECES. To attach the micro switch I created a hollow part so they can pass the cables. For those cables do not move I designed pieces to have them holded. These parts are attached inside the base to prevent touch the surface of latex.


ELECTRONICS HOLDER. This is the last piece in 3d that I design. This work is hold my three electronics boards. First I think in print a very large piece, but finally I prefer print three differentes so I can pass the cables between them.




To move the project I will need three boards. One stepper bipolar board, one light sensor board adn one Fabduino. I only need a microcontroller so the Fabduino have one Atmega 328P. I have milled all in a Roland MDX-40A.



This is the same board that I have used in some assigments with modifications. I remove the microcontrollerand added a micro switch that works like limit switch. The micro switch not be on the board, so the board will be connected by a cable and will be in a piece called "micro switch holder".

I used:

3x capacitor 1uF

2x capacitor 10uF

3x resistor 10k Ohm

1 resistor 0 Ohm

2 H-Bridge 4953

1 micro switch

1 regulator 5v

1 6-pinhead

3x 4pinhead





This is a very tiny and simple board that work as an input in the Fabduino. The light sensor not be on the board, it's connected by a cable.

I used:

1 phototransistor

1x resistor 10k Ohm

1 3-pinhead






I made a Fabduino in the week 13 assigment:






I have some problems programming my Fabduino.

I need to know how connect it to my pc:

I find the scheme of the Fabduio and one FABISP so I only have to connect cables, choose board, processor, etc's something wrong.

ARDUINO. To burn my board to programm it I use Arduino. I configure the board with the ATmega328P 8mhz exterior. I search how to this here, here and here. I need to change the boards.txt, but nothing works. I had to make the presentation and decided to temporarily use an Arduino UNO. The problem is with the ATmega328P.




The solution was to install and program the Arduino 1.06 Fabduino as a Arduino Mini Pro. it worked! I have the upload of the program of that I used with Arduino. The ATmega328P is the same micro that uses Arduino Mini Pro.




First thing I need to program the Fabduino is the datasheet. I will need four pins for the stepper bipolar uses 8,10,11,12 (PB0, PB2 ,PB3, PB4) I don't use the 9 pin because in my Arduino UNO doesn't work. For the switch I will use the pin A13 (PB5). The phototransistor will be in the A0 pin. I use this pins because I can program it.

I want the facade moves as with a light sensor. For this, the system will go to a point 0, where the microswitch is hosted. From there if the light will move up or down the point 0 being the lowest, and will be limited at the top by a certain distance, in this case 100 mm. One thread pitch screw in my spindle is equal to 1mm.


This is the code:

#include <Stepper.h>

int elevation;
int sensorValue;
const int analogInPin = A0;
const int stepsPerRevolution = 200;
// initialize the stepper library on pins 8 through 11:
Stepper myStepper(stepsPerRevolution, 8, 10, 11, 12);

void setup() {
pinMode(13, INPUT);
// set the speed at 60 - 120 rpm:
// initialize the serial port:
elevation = 0;
delay(3000); //stop all 3seg.
void loop() {
sensorValue = analogRead(analogInPin);
Serial.print("sensor = " );
if(sensorValue > 600){
else if(sensorValue < 400){

void initStepper(){
while(digitalRead(13) == 0){
void subir1vuelta(){
if(elevation < 100){
void bajar1vuelta(){
if(elevation > 1){



To made the test I used a power suppky :

1) With Arduino

working fine_arduino from Jose Real on Vimeo.


fabduino_test_1 from Jose Real on Vimeo.

fabduino_test from Jose Real on Vimeo.

final tests 1 from Jose Real on Vimeo.



Use boards manufactured by self brings many problems, but also made me learn things before the Fab Academy did not imagine that I could learn. Despite having no previous knowledge of electronics I have come to understand how a microchip works.
With a longer course could have learned much more so in the future I will study more about electronics and programming.


The future development of the project is clear. I would like to build something more complex, and the next step is to do a larger scale. Later I would like build smart buildings that react to external actions, like light, wind, rain, and why not? feelings of its members with inputs, outputs...


special thanks to:

Sergio Bemposta, Javier Prado, Germán Colomar, Luis Soliverdi and FUEM guys, Alborán Fatou, Sara Núñez, Fabricio Santos, Marta Verde and Nuria Robles,






Creative Commons License
Latex minimal surface facade by JOSE REAL is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



fablableon MIT