3D Printing for Complex Architectural Components

3D Printing for Complex Architectural Components explores new ways to fabricate integrative architectural components through 3D printing. The demand for complex, one-of-a-kind architectural components is continuously increasing. Performative requirements and the demand for technical integration in building components, the need for computational optimisation of complex building components, and the growing interest in greater design freedom, individualisation and the aesthetics of free-form architecture are some of the most relevant reasons. 3D printing customisation at no extra cost, without the constraints caused by geometric complexity, merges multiple fabrication processes merged into a single process; and allows the fabrication of elements which would be impossible before, such as functionally graded structures, or graded materials. Therefore, Complex Architectural Components stream seeks to integrate additive manufacturing into the prefabrication of architectural components and investigates the new possibilities for design which stem from these fabrication methods. This research requires interdisciplinary collaboration as computational design and optimisation tools, as well as 3D printing hardware development, control mechanisms and materials are strongly interdependent and need to be investigated in parallel.

Main Collaborators: Andrei Jipa, Hyunchul Kwon, Timothy Wangler

Extended Collaborators: Dr. Mania Meibodi, Mathias Bernhard, Michael Lyrenmann, Philippe Fleischmann, Prof. Dr. Joseph Schwartz

External Collaborators: Prof. Dr. Arno Schlueter, Moritz Begle, Demetris Shammas, Pietro Odaglia, Landrou Gnanli, Vera Voney


Aghaei Meibodi, Mania, Mathias Bernhard, Benjamin Dillenburger, Andrei Jipa. 2017. “The Smart Takes from the Strong” In Fabricate, 210-17. London:UCL Press.

Jipa, Andrei, Mathias Bernhard, Benjamin Dillenburger, Mania Aghaei Meibodi. 2016. “3D Printed Stay-in-Place Formwork for Topologically Optimised Concrete Slabs.” TxA: Emerging Design and Technology 2016, San Antonio, Texas. Accepted for publication.

Wangler, Timothy, Ena Lloret, Lex Reiter, Norman Hack, Fabio Gramazio, Matthias Kohler, Mathias Bernhard, et al. 2016. “Digital Concrete: Opportunities and Challenges.” RILEM Technical Letters 1 (0): 67–75. doi:10.21809/rilemtechlett.2016.16.

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