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Digital Fabrication

Digital Fabrication represents a new way of building and is becoming a core discipline in architecture. It is the link between digital design technologies and the real construction process. New architectural designs and structures can thus be realized by using inexpensive precise and resource-efficient on-site robotic construction.


Robot building a wall

Since 2005, ETH Zurich has taken a pioneering role in the research in digital fabrication. To further intensify investigations in this field, the development of a new National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) "Digital Fabrication" (more information) has been funded by the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER). It represents an ambitious project involving different disciplines as architecture, robotics, systems control engineering, computer-aided design and materials sciences.

The Automatic Control Laboratory of ETH Zürich (IFA) is developing new solutions for control systems within cooperative robotics. More information on the research by IFA within the project of Digital Fabrication is provided here.

The interdisciplinary research team is gathered around fourteen professors of ETH Zürich, EPF Lausanne, EMPA and Bern University of Applied Sciences:


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Automatic Control Laboratory (ETHZ, D-ITET)
Prof. Dr. Manfred Morari, Prof. Dr. Roy Smith

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Agile and Dexterous Robotics Lab (ETHZ, D-MAVT)
Prof. Dr. Jonas Buchli

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Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control
(ETHZ, D-MAVT), Prof. Dr. Raffaello D'Andrea

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Computer Graphics and Geometry Laboratory - LGG (EPFL, IC), Prof. Dr. Mark Pauly


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Departement Architecture, Wood and Construction
(BFH, AHB), Prof. Dr. Odilo Schoch
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Architecture and Digital Fabrication (ETHZ, D-ARCH)
Prof. Fabio Gramazio, Prof. Matthias Kohler

Block Research Group (ETHZ, D-ARCH)
Prof. Dr. Philippe Block

Architecture and Building Process (ETHZ, D-ARCH)
Sacha Menz

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Chair of Sustainable Construction (ETHZ, D-BAUG)
Prof. Dr. Guillaume Habert

Physical Chemistry of Building Materials
(ETHZ, D-BAUG), Prof. Dr. Robert Flatt

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Laboratory For Timber Constructions - iBOIS
(EPFL, ENAC), Prof. Dr. Yves Weinand

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Head of Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering (Empa), Dr. Peter Richner

A full-size demonstrator "NEST" will be used within the project.