Gramazio Kohler Research
News
About
Team
Teaching
Research
Publications
Open Positions
Contact
Teaching
Research
NCCR Digital Fabrication
Infrastructure
Infrastructure
In 2005 we installed a flexible construction facility based on an industrial robot in order to examine new production conditions. Industrial robots are reliable, robust and reasonable in cost. Our robot moves on a seven meter linear axis and has a reach of three meters and is thus in a position to fabricate and work with large building parts on a 1:1 scale.
The robot is controlled directly by the data created in the design. In addition, it works with different tools according to a specific task. The inclusion of constructive production and material-technical aspects in the design makes it possible to make use of these degrees of freedom for architecture.



In spring 2011, our research facilities were extended with three model scale robots. The machines operate in a radius of 80cm and allow not only the simulation of new fabrication concepts in model scale, but also the processing and joining of smaller elements in full scale. The machines are integrated into our academic teaching to empower the students to develop and test new concepts in design and fabrication independently. These concepts include the design of custom software tools to control the machine and the development of mechanical robot-controlled tools to process a multitude of possible materials. Thus, the design and crafting of these tools, which are specific to every fabrication process and material, becomes an integral part of the students architectural design process.



The mobile unit ("IF"), developed in 2011, consists of an industrial robotic arm mounted on a mobile caterpillar chassis. It is sized to fit through a standard door frame in its folded position. This allows the unit to freely and autonomously move on the building site, thus radically expanding its standard working range of 2.5 metres and allowing the in situ assembly of construction elements. Equipped with an efficient visual measuring system, the mobile unit is able not only to recognise the building elements in the environment but also to account for the respective material tolerances.
Copyright 2016, Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Gramazio Kohler Research
Chair of Architecture and Digital Fabrication
ETH Zürich HIB E 43
Stefano-Franscini Platz 1 / CH-8093 Zurich

+41 44 633 49 06
+41 44 633 11 71