at the EMPA and EAWAG NEST building in dübendorf, eight ETH zurich professors are collaborating on a three-storey DFAB HOUSE made using predominantly digital processes. built using a two-meter high construction robot, the machine works by moving autonomously on caterpillar tracks.
ETH zurich build DFAB HOUSE robots 3D printers designboom 01

 

 

a steel wire mesh fabricated by the robot serves both as formwork and as reinforcement for the concrete. thanks to the dense structure of the steel wire mesh and the special composition of the concrete mix, the concrete stays inside the grid and does not pour out. the result is a double-curved, load-bearing wall that will characterize the architecture of the open-plan living and working area on the ground floor. a smart slab will then be installed – a statically optimized and functionally integrated ceiling slab, the formwork of which was manufactured using a large-scale 3D sand printer. 

ETH zurich build DFAB HOUSE robots 3D printers designboom 02

 

 

smart dynamic casting technology is being used for the façade on the ground floor: the automated robotic slip-forming process can produce bespoke concrete façade mullions. the two upper floors, with individual rooms, are being prefabricated at ETH zurich’s robotic fabrication laboratory using spatial timber assemblies; cooperating robots will assemble the timber construction elements. 

ETH zurich build DFAB HOUSE robots 3D printers designboom 03

 

 

the DFAB HOUSE is distinctive in that it was not only digitally designed and planned but is also built using predominantly digital processes. with this pilot project, the ETH professors want to examine how digital technologies can make construction more sustainable and efficient, and increase the design potential. the design and planning of individual components were digitally coordinated, and these are now manufactured directly on site according to this data. as a result, the conventional planning phase is no longer needed. as of summer 2018, the three-storey building, with a floor space of 200 m2, will serve as a residential and working space for EMPA and EAWAG guest researchers and partners of NEST. 

ETH zurich build DFAB HOUSE robots 3D printers designboom 04


computer generated visualisation of the DFAB HOUSE

 

Save

  • It may exist, but I’d rather see an automated concrete block laying machine that can help at the lower end of the market.

    Jim

    JimCan says:
  • from the picture it seems the steel is exposed. I appreciate the experiment… but leaving exposed steel in a wall is not a good idea
    Even with a parge it will eventually be exposed to the elements
    good creative effort though.
    maybe go work on a construction site for the summer, come back, and rethink some of this

    dave says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
LOG IN
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

technology news