Robotic Fabrication In Architecture

Robotic Architecture is using robots to fabricate intricate building parts out of composites, wood, concrete, bricks, and foam, and using these parts to build complex installations. Robotic Fabrication allows for more free flowing design and with new robotic techniques enables fast inexpensive unique parts to be fabricated. Robotic Machining Australia Pty Ltd along with Special Patterns Pty Ltd have over 40 years in pattern making and 15 in robotics.  Working with composite engineers and builders, we supply the moulds, patterns, formed structures, artwork, and unique assemblies necessary for construction.  We are also setup to help develop new techniques and get them ready for industry and manufacturing. This gives architects the freedom to design knowing that there is a local based manufacture ready that is capable of employing any robotic technique to building fabrication.

There are some great ideas coming out of University level for unique structures and facades that cannot be made with conventional methods due to cost and missing infrastructure.  Using robotics, these unique structures are now possible.  We built our own robotic fabrication facility and have made it flexible. Our engineers can modify the robot to adapt to different functions, this could be; milling, hot wire cutting, stacking and fixing timber, single point incremental forming (SPIF), trimming, brick stacking, sewing and so on.  We are not afraid to adjust the system to your requirements.

robotic architecture
Sales office for new Zaha Hadid Architects-inspired residential tower. We used robotic hot wire cutting and machining for the columns and ceiling.

Robotic Architecture and Parametric Design

Using robots with parametric design saves money.  For example the image below of a partially constructed wall has had all the plastic pods cut from the one mould.  The robot is programmed to trim all these unique shapes from a common cone shape.  Making the tooling setup cost very low.  Eventually this wall will be clad with acoustic foam and glass windows to make up a very unique meeting room all thanks to robotic architecture.

Parametric design

EPS Foam can be hot wire cut or milled into any shape.  Making it a quick inexpensive method of creating form work or substructures that then can be clad with harder materials; Plaster, Concrete, Urethane etc.  It is extensively used in creating patterns for sand casting of aluminium and metal structures and has also been used as templates for laying bricks for curved walls.

ROBARCH 2016 hot wire cut

Robotic fabrication methods can be used to create structures that have otherwise been impossible or impracticable.  The flexibility of the robot and its ability to not be restricted on movements is what allows for these structures to take place.

robarch 2016 wall