Sim[PLY]: Rapid Structural Assemblies Using CNC-Fabricated Plywood Components

Sim[PLY]: Rapid Structural Assemblies Using CNC-Fabricated Plywood Components

D. Albright V. Blouin D.N. Harding U. Heine D. Pastre

Clemson University School of Architecture, Clemson, SC, USA

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The Sim[PLY] framing system leverages CNC prefabrication and unique connection design in service of rapid and safe on-site assembly without power tools or heavy equipment. Sim[PLY] components are cut from standard sheets of structural plywood and interlock using tab and slot connections in lieu of nails. Steel cable ties are used to secure the connections. In addition to fast and accurate assembly, CNC processing also allows for various forms of intelligent customization, including mechanical and electrical systems integration, component labeling, and diminished thermal bridging.

Preliminary structural testing examined the performance of individual connections as well as the performance of full-scale assemblies, including rafters and shear walls. Test results confirmed the ade- quacy of the Sim[PLY] system for natural hazard loading scenarios, including seismic and hurricane events.

This paper describes the development and details of the Sim[PLY] system as well as preliminary testing and case studies from various applications. The reader will, in turn, recognize an accessible and economical framing system that simultaneously offers high quality control, minimal waste, structural resiliency, and rapid and intuitive assembly and disassembly.


CNC, plywood, prefabrication, rapid assembly, sim[PLY]


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