Interchangeable die-halves allow combined panel configurations, making further rationalisation of other panel arrangements possible.
Experimental Pressure-Forming

Adding Value through Tooling Improvement, and a Hypothesis for Tooling Provision in Autonomous Development Environments


  • Daniel Elkin Hong Kong Polytechnic University





making research, tooling provision, metal forming, construction technology networks, autonomous development


This paper describes improved pressure forming techniques, metal-forming methods related to industrial processes, but suited to lower capitalisation contracting or do-it-yourself (DIY) fabrication settings. Working from literature and previous research, the author describes advancements to the tooling’s capabilities, compared to other research vectors for double-axis curvature metal forming. These works connect fabricators’ situational constraints to value constructs that surround making’s particularity as research, and to values driving autonomous development construction networks. This paper asks: what values drive, and what value is added by, improving such sub-optimal fabrication processes? Given industrial and digital processes’ extensive capabilities, are there contexts where intermediate technologies are particularly suited? How do those contexts constrain technical researchers’ ability to add value through tooling improvement? This paper presents recent technical research, and projects a method to integrate that research into autonomous development fabrication contexts within the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and China’s Great Bay Region.

How to Cite

Elkin, D. (2020). Experimental Pressure-Forming: Adding Value through Tooling Improvement, and a Hypothesis for Tooling Provision in Autonomous Development Environments. Cubic Journal, 3(3), 130–149.



Author Biography

Daniel Elkin, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Daniel Elkin is a designer and builder working in Hong Kong. Elkin is an assistant professor of Environmental Design and Technical Coordinator for the Department of Environment and Interior Design at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. His work focuses on spatial agency and its relationships with material practice, tooling, and construction technology. His work has been published in the journal Architectural Research Quarterly, at the College Art Association Annual Conference, and in a number of popular publications. His recent research studies stilt house communities in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, studying intersections between community development, individual development decisions, and owner-builder construction technology. He has masters of architecture degrees from Cranbrook Academy of Art, and the University of Cincinnati.


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