Andreas Trummer (2014), Structural Design and Robotic Fabrication; Institute of Structural Design; reviewer: Martin Bechthold, Harvard GSD; Werner Sobek, ILEK Universität Stuttgart; Tobia Walliser, ABK Stuttgart. Committee: Urs Hirschberg, Stefan Peters, Petra Petersson, Grigor Doytchinov, Benjamin Schmid; 212 pages, English.
The habilitation thesis presented here investigates the current development of "robotics in architecture." Since 2005 there have been sixty industrial robots installed at twenty-five architecture schools worldwide. All of these laboratories take multifaceted approaches to assessing the nexus between design, material, structure, and assembly while employing digital methods of design, planning, and assembly. The focus here is on the research and development of tools and production methods, along with their impact on the design.
The Institute of Structural Design has established two robot laboratories since 2007. The installation and operation of these laboratories is extensively described in the habilitation thesis. The research focus lies on the assembly of delicate, double-curved concrete elements made of ultra high-performance concrete (UHPC). To this end, robot-controlled universal formwork was developed, and milling and grinding work was researched using the machining robot for mold-making and the post-processing of prefabricated concrete elements to ensure a precise fusion process. The implementation of the elements in “Shell Structures Made of Prefabricated UHPC Components” is the objective of a research project running several years. This project is indicative of research projects and studies that center on architectural design, exploring issues related to materials, structure, and robot-supported assembly as linked to a digital process chain, thus substantiating "Structural Robotics."