Using 3D printing for architecture
About Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich
ETH Zurich, one of Europe’s renowned universities for science and technology, focuses on discovering possibilities to the global challenges of today and tomorrow. The Gramazio Kohler Research, at ETH Zurich’s Institute of Technology and Architecture, specifically concentrates on additive digital fabrication techniques used for building non-standardized architectural components.
“At the Institute of Technology in Architecture (ITA) at ETH Zurich we are researching novel methods of using 3D printing for architecture. Since we are aiming to produce full-scale, building components, large scale 3D printing is a key enabler for our research.” states Joris Burger, PhD Researcher, Gramazio Kohler Research at ETH Zurich. With countless 3D printing systems on the market, it is a challenge to find the system that expands the research possibilities rather than limits them.
The Robot Extruder Solution
“In this, we have found the CEAD Robot Extruder to be the perfect tool for our needs.” explains Burger. The Robot Extruder is engineered to be lightweight for the purpose of mounting it directly on a robotic arm. The extruder is able to use a wide variety of thermoplastic materials, has a high output and material storage, and a nozzle range from 2mm up to 12mm.
Burger explains: “Currently, we are exploring the possibilities of 3D printing of formwork for concrete structures, as well as 3D printing of a functionally integrated façade. With help of the Robot Extruder we are pushing the boundaries of additive manufacturing, paving the way towards sustainable mass-customization in architecture.”
The CEAD Robot Extruder offers the ETH Zurich exactly what it was looking for: a large-scale 3D printing solution that expands the limits of modern day architecture. Burger concludes: “High throughput, high temperature, a wide variety of materials, 24/7 production possibilities, and relatively low weight make it an ideal extruder for us.”