An Additive and Subtractive Process for Manufacturing with Natural Composites

  • Stylianos DritsasEmail author
  • Yadunund Vijay
  • Marina Dimopoulou
  • Naresh Sanadiya
  • Javier G. Fernandez
Conference paper


We present research work on a manufacturing process deploying natural composite materials. The objective of the project is to create a sustainable manufacturing process integrating materials, hardware, software and fabrication logic from the ground up. We deploy a bioinspired natural composite comprised by renewable, widely available, biodegradable and low-cost natural components. Material properties closely resemble those of high-density foams or low-density timbers and it is produced without any petrochemical or harmful solvents associated with adverse environmental effects. We designed a mobile material deposition system using the Direct Ink Writing method, with work envelope of over 3 m vertically and indefinite horizontal range, comprised of industrial robotic hardware and purpose-built mechanical mobile platform. We performed testing in characterizing material properties with and without the introduction of the printing process, tightly integrated material behavior with manufacturing and developed design software for direct transition from design to production. To address scaling, we approached the fabrication process from the perspective of fusing the best principles from both additive and subtractive manufacturing, offering geometric freedom and material efficiency of additive manufacturing while targeting production and quality efficiencies of subtractive and forming processes. We believe this process has the potential of significant impact on general manufacturing as well as the building industry.


Robotics Additive manufacturing Natural composites 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stylianos Dritsas
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yadunund Vijay
    • 1
  • Marina Dimopoulou
    • 1
  • Naresh Sanadiya
    • 1
  • Javier G. Fernandez
    • 1
  1. 1.Singapore University of Technology and DesignSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Architecture and Sustainable DesignSingaporeSingapore

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