This project explores the folding of two separate yet essential concrete construction components – reinforcement and formwork – into a unified robotic fabrication process. The idea is a digitally-controlled extrusion process of bespoke „leaking formwork“ elements for non-standard concrete structures that are environmentally sound and structurally lean, and that can be efficiently fabricated directly on the construction site. During the first research phase a spatial robotic extrusion process was developed, allowing to examine the interdependencies of mesh typology and rheological behaviour of concrete (see Mesh Mould 2012 – 2014, Gramazio Kohler Research). The on-going second research phase focuses on the translation of the structurally weak polymer-based extrusion process into a fully load-bearing steel-construction system.
Project leader: Norman Hack
Collaborators: Kathrin Dörfler, Dr. Jaime Mata Falcón, Dr. Nitish Kumar, Alexander Nikolas Walzer, Dr. Tim Wangler
Contributing Professorships: Gramazio Kohler Research, Institute for Technology in Architecture, ETH Zurich; Agile & Dexterous Robotics Lab, Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems, ETH Zurich; Physical Chemistry of Building Materials Group, Institute for Building Materials, ETH Zurich; Concrete Structures and Bridge Design, Institute of Structural Engineering, ETH Zurich
Industry Partners: Sika Technology AG, Noe Schaltechnik GmbH
Institution which launched the project in its first phase: Future Cities Laboratory, Singapore ETH Centre