This research project by Gramazio Kohler Research at ETH Zurich titled ‘Mesh Mould’ investigates the unification of reinforcement and formwork into a single robotically fabricated material system. Developed with the use of industrial robots, the process allows ‘spatial robotic extrusion’, creating interdependencies of mesh typology and concrete.
The most recent research phase of the project at the National Competence Centre in Research (NCCR), fabrication process focuses on the translation of the structurally weak polymer-based extrusion process into a fully load-bearing construction system. Team is working on developing a fully automated bending and welding process for meshes fabricated from 3 mm steel wire. The research involves the development of a fabrication, and structurally-informed mesh typology as well as the subsequent collaborative development of a specialised robotic end-effector together with the Agile & Dexterous Robotics Lab of Professor Jonas Buchli.
Research programme: NCCR Digital Fabrication
Collaborators: Norman Hack (project lead), Dr. Nitish Kumar, Kathrin Dörfler, Alexander Nikolas Walzer, Dr. Jaime Mata Falcon, Michael Lyrenmann, Lex Reiter, Dr. Tim Wangler, Philippe Fleischmann, Andreas Reusser.
Selected experts: Agile & Dexterous Robotics Lab (Prof. Dr. Jonas Buchli), Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems, ETH Zurich / Physical Chemistry of Building Materials group (Prof. Dr. Robert J. Flatt) / Institute for Building Materials, ETH Zurich / Concrete Structures and Bridge Design (Prof. Dr. Walter Kaufmann) / Industry partner: Sika Technology AG, Switzerland