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The idea of tolerance in architecture has become a popular point of discussion due to the recent mainstreaming of digital fabrication.
The improvements in digital fabrication methods are allowing for two major advancements: firstly, the idea of reducing the tolerance required in construction to a minimum (and ultimately zero) and secondly, mass customisation as a physical reality. Digital fabrication has made the broad-brushstroke approach to fabrication tolerance obsolete and now allows for unique elements and tolerance specific to each element. The accuracy that digital fabrication affords the designer, allows for the creation of more complex forms with greater ease and control. So far, this has had great and far reaching implications for design.
The Abedian School of Architecture, Bond University, is currently installing its first robotic industrial arm, thereby joining the growing number of Australian architecture schools investing in advanced manufacturing processes. The continued mainstreaming of advanced digital fabrication processes such as, 3D printing, CNC milling, laser-cutting and robotic manufacturing in architecture schools, affords students the luxury of creating designs using these tools. Suddenly they have the freedom to explore digital design and manifest these digital designs physically, regardless of the complexity.