Construction Robotics

, Volume 2, Issue 1–4, pp 15–39 | Cite as

Automated sequence and motion planning for robotic spatial extrusion of 3D trusses

  • Yijiang HuangEmail author
  • Caelan R. Garrett
  • Caitlin T. Mueller
Original Paper


While robotic spatial extrusion has demonstrated a new and efficient means to fabricate 3D truss structures in architectural scale, a major challenge remains in automatically planning extrusion sequence and robotic motion for trusses with unconstrained topologies. This paper presents the first attempt in the field to rigorously formulate the extrusion sequence and motion planning (SAMP) problem, using a CSP encoding. Furthermore, this research proposes a new hierarchical planning framework to solve the extrusion SAMP problems that usually have a long planning horizon and 3D configuration complexity. By decoupling sequence and motion planning, the planning framework is able to efficiently solve the extrusion sequence, end-effector poses, joint configurations, and transition trajectories for spatial trusses with nonstandard topologies. This paper also presents the first detailed computation data to reveal the runtime bottleneck on solving SAMP problems, which provides insight and comparing baseline for future algorithmic development. Together with the algorithmic results, this paper also presents an open-source and modularized software implementation called Choreo that is machine-agnostic. To demonstrate the power of this algorithmic framework, three case studies, including real fabrication and simulation results, are presented.


Robotic spatial extrusion Sequence and motion planning Digital fabrication 



The authors want to acknowledge Thomas Cook, Khanh Nguyen, and Kodiak Brush at MIT for their work on constructing the early-stage prototype of the software and hardware presented in this work. The authors would also like to thank Jonathan Meyer from ROS-Industrial for his insightful discussion on GitHub, Zhongyuan Liu from University of Science and Technology of China for his help on generating the 3D Voronoi shape, Lavender Tessmer and Zhujing Zhang at MIT for their help on diagram drawing. The authors want to thank Archi-Solution Workshop ( for their support on the designing and assembling of the mechanical extrusion system used in the case studies. Caelan Garrett acknowledges the support from NSF grants 1420316, 1523767 and 1723381, from AFOSR FA9550-17-1-0165, from ONR grant N00014-14-1-0486, and an NSF GRFP fellow-ship with primary award number 1122374. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (mp4 17546 KB)
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Supplementary material 2 (mp4 162740 KB)
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Supplementary material 3 (mp4 21722 KB)
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Supplementary material 4 (mp4 8044 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Building Technology Program, Department of ArchitectureMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence LaboratoryMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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