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Rocksolver Software for Sustainable Construction (NSW)
This innovation initially came to life when…
I was building a house in Tassie, partly from the rock rubble lying around the building site. Packing irregular shapes together to form a nice-looking regular structure was hard work and I thought, “A computer can do this.” I realised that as well as solving an intellectual problem, the software would enable the use of a local resource, unprocessed quarried rock, which is about 10% of the price and its production results in just 10% of the greenhouse gas emissions compared to manufactured and processed masonry material like concrete, brick and dimension stone. So, great for sustainable development.
WHAT & HOW
The purpose of this innovation is to…
Make it easy for anyone to build great-looking structures from their largest resource of durable, sustainable and cheap building material, unprocessed rock, using only cheap equipment like digital cameras.
It does this by…
Mimicking what happens inside the stonemason’s mind as they do the 2D or 3D geometric manipulations to find the best rocks to fit in the structure. Rock shapes are digitised using cheap digital cameras then Rocksolver goes to work building a virtual structure from virtual rocks, then delivers the layout plan to the builder.
PURPOSE & BENEFITS
This innovation improves on what came before because…
It uses computational power rather than industrial power to enable the use of raw materials. What came before are factories powered by fossil fuels to transform rock into various types of processed or artificial rock. Rocksolver will enable the builder to bypass the factories and instead use the raw material as a standalone building material.
Its various benefits to the customer/end-user include…
90% reduction in cost of building material, 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from production of material, guaranteed high level of aesthetic and structural stability of finished product, full digital plan for architectural or engineering analysis.
In the past, this problem was solved by…
Stonemasons performing the optimisation in their head or by using factories to transform raw material into regular shapes. Even in a CAD environment engineers and designers can’t accurately simulate structures built from irregular-shaped material for analysis or to present various options to clients. Also, current packaging software can’t deal with an infinite variety of irregular shapes.
Its predecessors/competitors include…
Technology which hasn’t changed for hundreds of years. Until now the problem was solved by pumping energy into industrial processes or taxing the limits of the human brain.
It is made for…
The DIY landscaper, initially, in its first release as a service for optimising the layout of two-dimensional jobs like stone paving. Being software as a service (SaaS) it will be available to any landscaper with a smartphone and Internet connection anywhere on Earth. The US domestic paving market is worth $10 billion annually. Future releases will be for contractors building large-scale infrastructure such as ports, road and rail and for communities looking to use their local resource of durable, cheap building material to build structures to protect valuable coastal properties or low-lying agricultural land.
It is available for sale through…
Smartphone markets (soon). The user will use our free smartphone app to quickly digitise the shapes of their stone pavers and upload their data to our server where Rocksolver will deliver a layout plan for a fee.
Our marketing strategy is to…
Release Rocksolver for 2D jobs in July 2012. We are currently leveraging the popularity of our free 3D models (which are being downloaded from Google’s 3dwarehouse at a rate of 15,000 per month) to build a following of enthusiastic early adopters. The highly visual nature of Rocksolver, combined with its environmental benefits, also lends itself to free editorial coverage.
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