Photo: Andrei Jipa

Performance-Integrated 3D Printing

Integrating aspects such as structural engineering and environmental control into the design process instead of considering them as an afterthought is key to holistically optimising material use and the structural energetic and climatic performance of floor slabs. Yet, there are currently no design tools available for such an approach, and the efficient fabrication of highly optimised geometries remains a challenge. Our research aims to integrate additional aspects such as thermal activation, ventilation and acoustic performance to integrated floor/ceiling systems. We will develop computational design methods for planning and optimisation and 3D-printing methods which allow the efficient mouldless fabrication of those elements in parallel. We closely collaborate with research in design computation and additive manufacturing in order to achieve ideal performance and fabrication-informed modelling. Current research concentrates on hybrid fabrication approaches combining large-scale 3D printing with casting processes and on improving the properties of printable materials.The architectural integration of such findings has strong potential to enable the building industry with a higher degree of automation in fabrication, material reduction and enhanced structural performance, and result in a decrease in the overall carbon footprint of buildings. We recently demonstrated capabilities with the Acoustic Mirror demonstrator, the FutureTree pavilion and the Funicular Floor.