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MAS 202/23

MAS DFAB ETHZ - T2 One Human Roof - DBT - Matthias Leschok-Marirena Kladeftira-Nik Eftekha

Prototyping results from air printing  2023 - credit:Yi Hsiu Hung, 

One (hu)man roof

Designing and fabricating lightweight architecture structures

This project rethinks the role and use of plastics in architecture introducing novel moldless, wastefree digital fabrication based on 3D printing. A digital process chain is developed which allows to easily adapt the system through computational design to any given context. The system is demonstrated in an immersive  installation of an ultra-lighweight, diaphane baldachin structure. 


Plastics in architecture have unique properties in terms of weight-to-strength ratio, customizable material properties, low material costs, and potential recycability. However, so far, the creation of custom and complex plastic elements is limited due to high costs of the molds required. This project speculates on the future role and potential of plastic material in architecture once freed by those constraints through additive manufacturing.


A lightweight integrated architecture structure is constructed through the combination of two distinct fabrication methods: On the one side, a novel method of big-scale 3D printing with plastics, in order to build columns and wall elements, on the other, a scaffold free assembled spaceframe structure as roof. The nodes of the spaceframe are fabricated using a multi jet fusion (MJF) printer and pre-assembled in modules onsite, whereas the columns are printed with industrial robotic arms. The final assembly of the different spaceframe modules on top of the 3DP columns is guided by an augmented reality set-up, consisting of Hololens glasses, mobile phones and iPads.


One (hu)man roof project is a 12-week module of the second trimester of the MAS ETH in Architecture and Digital Fabrication lead by Digital Building Technologies. The project is fabricated thanks to the facilities at the Robotic Fabrication Lab (RFL) at ETH and Saeki Robotics. 


Final critique : 12th of June 2023, 15:00-18:00


Tutors : Matthias Leschok, Marirena Kladeftira, Nik Eftekhar Olivo

Support : Yael Ifrah, Quiming Sun

Professor : Benjamin Dillenburger

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