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  3. Amazing Robotically Fabricated Mesh Revolutionizes How Concrete is Formed and Reinforced

Amazing Robotically Fabricated Mesh Revolutionizes How Concrete is Formed and Reinforced

Amazing Robotically Fabricated Mesh Revolutionizes How Concrete is Formed and Reinforced

Since 2015, Gramazio Kohler Research has been in the process of developing "Mesh Mould Metal," a project that studies the unification of concrete reinforcement and formwork into a single, robotically fabricated material system. The project is based on their first phase of research, Mesh Mould, which spanned from 2012 to 2014, and developed a robotic extrusion process for a polymer mesh.

Now, as a second phase, Mesh Mould Metal “focuses on the translation of the structurally weak polymer-based extrusion process into a fully load-bearing construction system” by replicating the process in metal. Specifically, the current research delves into the development of "a fully automated bending and welding process for meshes fabricated from 3-millimeter steel wire."

Courtesy of Gramazio Kohler Research Courtesy of Gramazio Kohler Research Courtesy of Gramazio Kohler Research Courtesy of Gramazio Kohler Research + 12

According to Gramazio Kohler, central to the original research for Mesh Mould was the fact that standard robotic extrusion processes have a low loadbearing capacity, but a "high capacity for precise spatial coordination." Therefore, "an optimal use of the machine requires construction processes with minimal mass transfer and a high degree of geometric definition," they explain.

Courtesy of Gramazio Kohler Research
Courtesy of Gramazio Kohler Research

For the switch to a stronger metal mesh with real-world structural applications, Gramazio Kohler abandoned the standard extrusion machine used for the first stage of the research. Instead, alongside the Agile & Dexterous Robotics Lab of Professor Jonas Buchli, they developed a specialized robot capable of automatically bending and welding the metal.

Learn more about the Mesh Mould Metal project here.

Credits: Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich
Research programme: NCCR Digital Fabrication
Collaborators: Norman Hack (project lead), Dr. Nitish Kumar, Kathrin Dörfler, Alexander Nikolas Walzer, Dr. Jaime Mata Falcon, Michael Lyrenmann, Lex Reiter, Dr. Tim Wangler, Philippe Fleischmann, Andreas Reusser
Selected experts: Agile & Dexterous Robotics Lab (Prof. Dr. Jonas Buchli), Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems, ETH Zurich
Physical Chemistry of Building Materials group: (Prof. Dr. Robert J. Flatt),
Institute for Building Materials, ETH Zurich
Concrete Structures and Bridge Design: (Prof. Dr. Walter Kaufmann)
Institute for Structural Engineering, ETH Zurich
Industry partner: Sika Technology AG, Switzerland

The project is developed within the NCCR Digital Fabrication, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

News via Gramazio Kohler Research.

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About this author
Sabrina Santos
Author
Cite: Sabrina Santos. "Amazing Robotically Fabricated Mesh Revolutionizes How Concrete is Formed and Reinforced" 02 Aug 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/792079/amazing-robotically-fabricated-mesh-revolutionizes-how-concrete-is-formed-and-reinforced/> ISSN 0719-8884
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