The National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication recently hosted its international Review Panel for its Annual Site Visit. During the two-day review, panel members got insight into the research progress of the last year and an outlook into the future plans for the NCCR.

All NCCRs are evaluated annually by an international Review Panel made up of renowned scientists and experts. The panel of the NCCR Digital Fabrication is composed of specialists in disciplines including architecture, engineering, mathematics, computer science and robotics. Together, they have the mandate to evaluate the NCCR’s research progress and its broader impact on science, economy and society.

Impressive Research Presentations and Demonstrations
The first day of the review focused on research, with posters, physical prototypes, and five collaborative research teams presenting work. A clear highlight was the live demonstration of the NCCR associated CTI project Spatial Timber Assemblies and a brick-laying process shown by students of the MAS ETH in Architecture and Digital Fabrication within the Robotic Fabrication Laboratory (RFL). Equally impressive was a first demonstration of the autonomous Menzi Muck construction platform by the research team of Robotic Construction with Found Materials.

Panel Confident about the NCCR’s Future
The focus of the second day was the NCCR Digital Fabrication’s future development with regard to its second funding phase which will start in May 2018. The NCCR Steering Committee presented a first proposal for Phase 2, which will now be updated to include the feedback from the expert panel and ratified into a final full-proposal for submission to the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) in February 2018.

In conclusion panel member Prof. Dr. Gerti Kappel stated: “Researchers have clearly taken up the challenge to deepen their work and to collaborate across disciplines. For the future: Don’t play it safe. Continue to develop new ideas and take even higher risks!”