Robotic Fabrication

ITECH Seminar | 6 ECTS | Summer Semester 2023

T. Schwinn, Y. Tahouni, X. Yang, N. Opgenorth, T. Stark, Prof. A. Menges (ICD)

The integration of computational design and digital fabrication, including robotics, opens up new possibilities for materialization in architecture. Beyond the automation of traditional fabrication techniques, robotics affords the opportunity to explore interactive and adaptive fabrication processes.

The aim of the course is to develop skills and understanding for relevant techniques: robotic programming interfaces, development and prototyping of custom hardware, and fabrication feedback. Throughout the course, students will receive instruction about these topics and will be requested to engage practically with the given curriculum through accomplishing short-term assignments in small groups. This will enable students to investigate fabrication techniques in interdisciplinary teams as well as to develop suitable computational design tools. Where possible, synergies with the ITECH Research Pavilion are encouraged.

Students will gain a deeper understanding of the potential of robotic fabrication within the context of architecture and proficiency in technologies for advanced fabrication of architectural systems, the development of computational tools, and experimental fabrication techniques. This way, the course lays the foundations for behavioral robot control, which will be explored in the following semester as part of the Behavioral Fabrication seminar. By the end of the course, participants will develop a final seminar project as a team combining the skills they have learned during the course. The seminar will conclude with final presentations and submissions of deliverables on ILIAS at the end of the semester.

Final presentations: 11.7.2023
Documentation hand-in: 18.7.2023


The course will be conducted in person. Lecture content will be provided in class during live sessions. Lecture recordings will be posted to ILIAS after the live event. The recordings will complement the live lectures and allow students to revisit lecture contents. The remaining time of the live sessions will be dedicated to tutorials and desk crits regarding assignment progress.

Assignments will also be distributed and submitted through ILIAS. Students will be asked to complete three assignments, two of which are hardware assignments, where access to some basic tools will be required. As of today, regular access to the Robolab to work on individual projects will be possible.

Admission to the course for non-ITECH students will be based on a motivation letter, previous knowledge and participation in ICD courses, and final decision by the tutors.

First Meeting: 11.04.2023

ITECH Module: 49780
Computational Design and Digital Fabrication
Examination Number: 49781

Master Module: 47570
Computerbasiertes Entwerfen und Digitale Fabrikation

[Photo: E. Sahin, L. Skoury, S. Treml, ITECH University of Stuttgart, 2020]

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