Students at Bond University have fabricated a structure in six hours through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and augmented reality, a major breakthrough for the industry.  

Bond University said that this project signifies a potential pivot in the construction industry, with this technology aiming to accelerate design and construction processes. 

The university also said the initiative marks the first step to significantly reducing building time frames through supercharged upskilling and reducing steps in the design process. 

The project included students using augmented reality technology to shape metal poles to a design that floated in space before adding plastic sails, which included a digitally painted on AI-generated pattern. The whole process took three days to complete. 

Head of School and computational design researcher, Dr Paul Loh, said the future applications of such a process, once refined, could enable much faster development of structures at a time where tradespeople and materials were in high demand. 

“This is a way of supercharging and making amateurs really skilled, very, very quickly,” Mr Loh said.

“Our students, who have never bent a pipe before, can become a pipe bender in a matter of three hours. That’s really fast in terms of the skill pickup and there’s obviously an implication there for resources, especially skilled resources, in industry. 

“Typically what happens is that an architect draws something, then someone else will interpret the drawing for procurement and then someone else again will build the product, so there’s always this three-stage process.

“This technology essentially shortcuts the whole process so you can model and fabricate the piece at the same time. 

“So that ability to streamline the information, literally from design to production, being able to collapse those together, means it can happen much faster.

“I don’t (think AI will kill off the industry). If anything, it makes industries a lot more fun, enjoyable and much more creative. Architects can use Generative AI to hallucinate the future together and use their disciplinary knowledge to articulate the design into reality.” 

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