Mobile Additive Manufacturing

In this semester's design-based research studio entitled "Mobile Additive Manufacturing" we will explore how we can use mobile robots for 3D printing on building sites. By combining digital design with mobile robotics, we will explore the design space and implications of this technology on architecture and construction.

3D printing of buildings through extrusion and deposition of material allows for an almost unlimited customization of building components, the integration of multiple functions such as structure and insulation into these components, the resource-efficient use of materials, and a large design freedom for architects. Current on site extrusion 3D printing systems are typically stationary and large in scale. They are highly accurate and have simple path planning with 3 degrees of freedom. But these systems also have limitations, e.g., the workspace remains bounded and no parallelization of tasks is integrated in the system. Additionally, interior or existing building applications are hardly possible. The system can only be feasibly placed outdoor on a free plot. The integration of mobile robotics in building construction presents new opportunities for on-site additive manufacturing, with unbounded work area through mobility and new possibilities for architecture in terms of: -manufacturing of building components larger than the static range of the system, -providing scalability with cooperative mobile robots, and -additive manufacturing on-site within existing structures.

We will study the topic of using mobile robots for additive manufacturing both on a theoretical and design-based level, by investigating the architectural design space and future fields of applications, and on a practical level, by testing possible fabrication workflows on behalf of physical prototypes with a robotic clay 3D printer at 1:4 scale.

A newly installed Lecture Series with fantastic guests will accompany the studio, with talks on various topics around construction robotics and architecture.

Integrated Seminar: 
Robotic Fabrication in Architecture