Mesh Mould

Mesh Mould is a waste-free robotic fabrication process for fully loadbearing, non-standard concrete constructions. Concrete not only has excellent properties in terms of structural performance, building physics and price, but moreover is a highly versatile material for the reason that it can be moulded into any shape regardless of its geometric complexity. However, despite the today’s digital design tools that allow us to effortlessly design and calculate such structures, this potential is all too often remains unused. The reasons for this can be found in the fact that those structures require expensive, customised, one-of-a-kind formwork, which can be used only once and cannot be recycled. Hence, the current practice for producing non-standard architecture in reinforced concrete is neither sustainable nor economically feasible. Mesh Mould addresses this issue and proposes a robotic fabrication process that unifies concrete formwork and reinforcement. Consequently, formwork waste is eliminated and the dexterity and precision of the robot liberates reinforced concrete constructions from their current geometric constraints which are solely imposed by the high formwork costs. The development of a fully automated robotic fabrication process involves various research disciplines, including material science, robotics, computer science, architecture and structural engineering.

Mesh Mould brings together researchers from the fields architecture, materials science, robotics and structural engineering for the purpose of developing an innovative building process which challenges the conventional methods of construction with concrete. The Mesh Mould project has recently been widely recognised by leading experts in the fields of innovation and construction. Mesh Mould is the proud recipient of the prestigious Swiss Technology Award 2016 and the Concrete Innovation Award 2017.

Principal Investigators: Prof. Fabio Gramazio, Prof. Matthias Kohler, Prof. Jonas Buchli, Prof. Dr. Robert J. Flatt

Associated Investigators: Prof. Dr. Walter Kaufmann, Prof. Dr. Joseph Schwartz

Main Collaborators: Norman Hack, Kathrin Dörfler, Dr. Jaime Mata Falcon, Dr. Tim Wangler, Alexander Walzer

Extended Collaborators: Markus Giftthaler, Isolda Agusti Juan, Ena Lloret-Fritschi, Tim Sandy, Michael Lyrenmann, Philippe Fleischmann, Andreas Reusser

Extended Collaborators: Manuel Lussi

Publications

Dörfler, Kathrin, Timothy Sandy, Markus Giftthaler, Fabio Gramazio, Matthias Kohler, and Jonas Buchli. 2016. “Mobile Robotic Brickwork: Automation of a Discrete Robotic Fabrication Process Using an Autonomous Mobile Robot.” In Robotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art and Design 2016, edited by Dagmar Reinhardt, Rob Saunders, and Jane Burry, 204–17. Cham: Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-26378-6_15.

Neunert, Michael, Markus Giftthaler, Marco Frigerio, Claudio Semini, and Jonas Buchli. 2016. “Fast Derivatives of Rigid Body Dynamics for Control, Optimization and Estimation,” 91–97. doi:10.1109/SIMPAR.2016.7862380.

Sandy, Timothy, Markus Giftthaler, D Kathrin, Matthias Kohler, and Jonas Buchli. 2016. “Autonomous Repositioning and Localization of an In Situ Fabricator.” In 2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2852–58. doi:10.1109/ICRA.2016.7487449.

Dörfler, Kathrin, Timothy Sandy, Markus Giftthaler, Fabio Gramazio, Matthias Kohler, and Jonas Buchli. 2016. “Mobile Robotic Brickwork: Automation of a Discrete Robotic Fabrication Process Using an Autonomous Mobile Robot.” In Robotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art and Design 2016, edited by Dagmar Reinhardt, Rob Saunders, and Jane Burry, 204–17. Cham: Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-26378-6_15.

Hack, Norman, Willi Viktor Lauer, Fabio Gramazio, and Matthias Kohler. 2015. “Mesh Mould: Robotically Fabricated Metal Meshes as Concrete Formwork and Reinforcement.” Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Ferrocement and 3rd ICTRC International Conference on Textile Reinforced Concrete.

Hack, Norman, Timothy Wangler, Nitish Kumar, Nikolas Walzer, Konrad Graser, Lex Reiter, Heinz Richner, et al. 2017. “Mesh Mould: An On Site, Robotically Fabricated, Functional Formwork.” In Proceedings of the Second Concrete Innovation Conference (2nd CIC). Tromsø.

Neunert, Michael, Markus Giftthaler, Marco Frigerio, Claudio Semini, and Jonas Buchli. 2016. “Fast Derivatives of Rigid Body Dynamics for Control , Optimization and Estimation,” 91–97. doi:10.1109/SIMPAR.2016.7862380.

Sandy, Timothy, Markus Giftthaler, D Kathrin, Matthias Kohler, and Jonas Buchli. 2016. “Autonomous Repositioning and Localization of an In Situ Fabricator.” In 2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2852–58. doi:10.1109/ICRA.2016.7487449.

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. doi:10.21809/rilemtechlett.2016.16.

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