New methods of manufacturing and assembly, enabled through robotic fabrication, push the boundaries of the conventional in architecture and construction, when coupled with advanced digital design and simulation. This paper presents a novel method for digital production of bespoke ceramic assemblies for spatial acoustic modulation, demonstrating a hybrid robotic process combining robotic oscillating wire cutting (ROWC) of wet clay bricks and adaptive pick and place (APnP) production of bespoke brick panel assemblies. These processes are carried out within the framework of a deployable robot cell that can be shipped to a jobsite where complex fabrication and assembly can be performed in situ. The research bridges the gap between serialized and bespoke production of architectural elements, by minimally disrupting existing production chains as a viable way forward to integrate digital technologies into existing manufacturing and construction processes. The proposed methods are demonstrated through a collaboration with brick producer Strøjer Tegl leading to the manufacturing and assembly of a full-scale acoustic demonstrator of 9 × 4 m, comprises 2200 bricks with 14 shape variants.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Andreani S, Bechtold M (2014) Revolving brick: geometry and performance innovation in ceramic building systems through design robotics. Fabricate 2014: negotiating design and making. UCL Press, London, pp 182–191
Archi-Union Chi She Gallery Project Page (2020). http://www.archi-union.com/Homes/Projectshow/index/id/40. Accessed 02 Mar 2020
Association of Robots in Architecture (2020) https://www.robotsinarchitecture.org/. Accessed 05 Feb 2029
Bonwetsch T (2015) Robotically assembled brickwork Manipulating assembly processes of discrete elements, PhD Thesis. ETH, Zurich.
Bonwetsch T, Baertschi R, Oesterle S (2008) Adding performance criteria to digital fabrication: room-acoustical information of diffuse respondent panels. In: ACADIA Conference Proceedings, Non Standard Production Techniques Tools, Techniques and Technologies-Adding Performance Criteria to Digital Fabrication, Minnesota, pp 364–369
Cox TJ, D’Antonio P (2016) Acoustic absorbers and diffusers: theory, design, and application. Taylor and Francis, London
Claypool M, Jimenez Garcia M, Retsin G, Soler V (2019) Robotic building, architecture in the age of automation. ORP Editions, San Francisco
Daas M, John AW (2018) Towards a robotic architecture, 1st edn. ORO Editions, San Francisco
Day C, Marshall H, Scelo T, Valentine J, Exton P (2016) The Philharmonie de Paris Acoustic design and commissioning. In: Proceedings of ACOUSTICS, Brisbane.
Delgado MDJ, Oyedele L, Ajayi A, Akanbi L, Akinade O, Bilal M, Owolabi H (2019) Robotics and automated systems in construction: Understanding industry-specific challenges for adoption. J Build Eng. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jobe.2019.100868
Dörfler K (2018) Strategies for Robotic in Situ Fabrication, PhD Thesis. ETH, Zurich.
Faiz A, Ducourneau J, Khanfir A, Chatillon J (2012) Measurement of sound diffusion coefficients of scattering furnishing volumes present in workplaces. Acoustics 2012, Nantes, France. 〈hal-00810697〉
Feringa J, Søndergaard A (2015) Fabricating architectural volume. Fabricate: negotiating design and making. UCL Press, Zürich, pp 44–51
https://www.randerstegl.dk/dk/mursten/andre-murstenstyper/akustiksten. Accessed Mar 2020
Koren B, Müller T (2017) Digital fabrication of non-standard sound-diffusing panels in the large hall of the elbphilharmonie. Fabricate 2017: rethinking design and construction. UCL Press, Stuttgart, pp 122–129
Leopold C, Robeller C, Weber U, Leder S, Weber R, Bucklin O, Wood D, Menges A (2019) Towards distributed in situ robotic timber construction. In: Research culture in architecture: cross-disciplinary collaboration robotics in timber construction, Kaiserslautern, Germany, pp 67–76
Odico (2020) Factory-On-The-Fly as accessed https://odico.dk/en/factoryonthefly/. Accessed Mar 2020
Pachyderm Acoustics on Github (2020). https://github.com/PachydermAcoustic. Accessed 02 Mar 2020
Peel H, Luo S, Cohn AG, Fuentes R (2018) Localisation of a mobile robot for bridge bearing inspection. Autom Constr 94:244–256
Pritschow G, Dalacker M, Kurz J, Gaenssleet M (1995) Technological aspects in the development of a mobile bricklaying robot. In: Proceedings of the 12th ISARC, Warsaw, pp 281–290
Rossi G, Nicholas P (2019) Haptic learning, towards neural-network-based adaptive Cobot path-planning for unstructured spaces. In: Ecaade Sigradi 2019: architecture in the age of the 4th industrial revolution, Porto, pp 201–210
Rossi G, Walker J, Søndergaard A, Foged IW, Pasold A, Hilmer J (forthcomming 2021) Design to manufacture workflows of sound scattering acoustic brick walls. Acadia 2020: Distributed Proximities, Online + Global.
Søndergaard A, Feringa J (2017) Scaling architectural robotics. Realization of the Kirk Kapital Headquarters. Fabricate 2017: rethinking design and construction. UCL Press, Stuttgart, pp 264–271
Weiguo X, Luo D, Gao Y (2019) Automatic brick masonry system and its application in on-site construction. In: CAADRIA 2019: Intelligent and Informed, Beijing, pp 83–92
This project was funded by Realdania.
Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Rossi, G., Walker, J., Søndergaard, A. et al. Oscillating wire cutting and robotic assembly of bespoke acoustic tile systems. Constr Robot 5, 63–72 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41693-020-00051-8
- Robotic Fabrication
- Ruled surface
- Acoustic simulation
- Pick and place
- Wire cutting