Smart Dynamic Casting (SDC)

Smart Dynamic Casting (SDC) is a process for digital fabrication of reinforced concrete that was pioneered at ETH Zurich. It is a scaled-down, digitally controlled version of slip forming in which self-compacting concrete is fed into a flexible formwork that shapes the concrete as it hardens. In contrast to what is generally referred to as concrete 3D printing, SDC intrinsically includes reinforcement, meaning that structurally functional elements can be produced in one fabrication step. The NCCR is capitalising on this major advantage of SDC for market acceptance.

The material challenges are numerous, requiring an understanding of chemical admixture control of cement hydration, as well as developing new strategies for processing concrete. This is particularly demanding because of raw material variability and is something that the collaborative project Digital Concrete strives to find solutions to.

From an architectural standpoint, the possibility to create bespoke vertical columns and folded structures in an unbroken digital chain places SDC at the leading edge of real-world realisation of bespoke fabrication of concrete structures. The recent production of façade mullions for DFAB HOUSE demonstrates how important it is to produce full-scale demonstrators to understand how digital fabrication, concrete material science, mechanical engineering and digital design must be joined in an enhanced process to achieve successful results. Each module has been developed in an interdisciplinary context, and has highlighted how important various disciplines are in real-world application of digital fabrication with concrete.

Principal Investigators: Prof. Fabio GramazioProf. Matthias KohlerProf. Dr. Robert J. FlattProf. Dr. Marco Hutter

Main Collaborators: Ena Lloret-Fritschi, Anna Szabó, Fabio Scotto, Joris Burger, Lex Reiter,Dr. Timothy Wangler, Dr. Jaime Mata Falcón

Extended Collaborators: Martin Wermelinger, Prof. Dr. Joseph Schwartz, Michael Lyrenmann, Philippe Fleischmann, Andreas Reusser

External Collaborators: Heinz Richner, Tobias Ulrich


Flatt, Robert J., Timothy Wangler, Lex Reiter, Ena Lloret-Fritschi, Fabio Gramazio, Matthias Kohler, Linus Mettler, Falk Wittel, Mathias Bernhard, Benjamin Dillenburger, Jonas Buchli, Jaime Mata Falcón and Walter Kaufmann. 2016. “Digital Fabrication with Concrete:Challenges and Opportunities.” Keynote lecture 8th International RILEM Symposium on Self-Compacting Concrete, Washington,DC, USA, 16-19 May 2016.

Lloret Fritschi, Ena. 2016. “Smart Dynamic Casting A Digital Fabrication Method for Non-Standard Concrete Structures.” Doctoral thesis, ETH Zurich.

Lloret Fritschi, Ena, Lex Reiter, Timothy Wangler, Fabio Gramazio, Matthias Kohler, and Robert J. Flatt. “Smart Dynamic Casting: –Slipforming with Flexible Formwork – Inline Measurement and Control.” Submitted to 2nd Concrete Innovation Conference (CIC),Norway.

Mettler, Linus K., Falk K. Wittel, Robert J. Flatt, and Hans J. Herrmann. 2016. “Evolution of Strength and Failure of SCC during Early Hydration.” Cement and Concrete Research 89 (November): 288–96.doi:10.1016/j.cemconres.2016.09.004.

Reiter, Lex, Timothy Wangler, Nicolas Roussel, and Robert J. Flatt. 2016. “Distinguishing Flocculation and Hydration Effects on the Thixotropy of Cement Pastes.” In 8th International RILEM Symposium on Self-Compacting Concrete, Washington, DC, USA.

Schultheiss, Marc, Timothy P. Wangler, Lex Reiter, and Robert J. Flatt. 2016. “Feedback Control of Smart Dynamic Casting through Formwork Friction Measurements.” In 8th International RILEM Symposium on Self-Compacting Concrete, Washington, DC, USA.

Timothy Wangler, Lex Reiter, Ena Lloret-Fritschi, Norman Hack, Matthias Kohler, Fabio Gramazio, Benjamin Dillenburger, Mathias Bernhard, Jonas Buchli, and Robert J. Flatt. “Hydration Control for Digital Fabrication with Concrete.” Invited presentation at One-Day International Symposium on 3D Printing of Concrete, IIT Madras, Chennai, India, 8 August 2016.

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: 9.

Reiter, Lex, Marta Palacios, Timothy Wangler, and Robert J. Flatt. 2015. “Putting Concrete to Sleep and Waking It up with Chemical Admixtures.” Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Superplasticizers and Other Chemical Admixtures in Concrete 302:145–154.

Reiter, Lex, Rene Käßmann, Amir Reza Shahab, Timothy Wangler, and Robert J. Flatt. 2015a. “Strategies to Wake up Sleeping Concrete.” Proceedings of the 14th International Congress on the Chemistry of Cement.

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