Additive Manufacturing in Construction

Guest Researchers

The AMC invites outstanding researchers from various disciplines, especially from abroad, as guests for longer and shorter stays. They are usually in close exchange with individual subprojects and support the project staff with their expertise. In lecture formats, they present their own research and discuss it together with the staff. At the end of each stay, the results obtained are published in joint publications. Proposals and invitations for guest researchers can be submitted to the AMC at any time.


Guest researchers
Associated Scientists

Dr. Vittoria Laghi is a post-doc researcher in Structural Design at University of Bologna, Italy. Her expertise lies in metal additive manufacturing (AM) solutions for structural applications, with specific focus on Wire-and-Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM). Dr. Laghi has contributed as guest researcher since 2021 in TP A07 for the design of new optimized solutions for construction. In particular, she visited TU Braunschweig as guest researcher for several month at the end of 2021, during which she worked on innovative diagrid solutions for pillars realized with WAAM dot-by-dot printing strategy. Both design and fabrication activities were carried out at ITE and DBFL. Additional studies were carried out on possible combination of WAAM dot-by-dot with shotcrete 3D printing (SC3DP) through a collaboration between AMC projects A07 and A04. From this, the FloWall concept was developed and presented in various competitions, winning important awards such as the Special Mention by Autodesk at 3D Pioneers Challenge 2022 and the Iconic award for its disruptive concept. The research outcomes of this collaborations were also presented in a publication accepted in MDPI Buildings journal. Dr. Laghi’s activities as guest researcher continued also in 2022, during which she supervised the research activities of A07 for the structural design part. She is supposed to become Project Leader in funding phase 2 within A07. Dr. Laghis’ cooperation within the AMC also contributes in exchanging activities between the German and Italian universities, by bringing Italian Master’s students at TU Braunschweig to pursue part of their Master’s Thesis abroad within the AMC program. So far, two Master’s students from University of Bologna (Lidiana Arrè and Edoardo Benvenuti) have participated in the exchange program to pursue their Master’s Thesis at TU Braunschweig under the co-supervision of Dr. Laghi and Prof. Dr. Kloft.

Institute of Structural Design (ITE)

Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering, ALMA MATER STUDIORUM – Università di Bologna

Guest researchers

AMC-Mercator-Fellow Prof. Dr. Ena Lloret-Fritschi is an architect with years of experience in digital processes with concrete. She is Assistant Professor of Fabrication and Materials Aware Architecture at the Accademia di Architettura Mendrisio, USI-ARC, Switzerland. Her research focuses on using novel processing techniques for mineral building materials like concrete. More specifically, her work focuses on using fast-setting concrete processed through Digital Casting Systems. This method enables the use of ultra-thin formwork made of paper, clay, or recycled polymers. Through research and design studies her research work investigates how these novel processing techniques impact how we can design and build more sustainable architecture in the near future. Before joining the USI-ARC, Dr. Lloret-Fritschi held a Postdoctoral position in Digital Fabrication, at the NCCR, ETH. Here she was in a bridge position between two research groups, Gramazio Kohler Research (GKR) and Physical Chemistry of Building Materials (PCBM), focusing on shaping concrete with minimal materials using digital fabrication processes. Prof. Dr. Lloret-Fritschi also has several years of professional experience as an architect in practice, working for firms that include OMA in Holland, Allmann Sattler Wappner in Germany, and Dietrict Untertrifaller and Querkraft in Austria. She was the project leader for several architectural competitions and assisted in several projects. In 2022, Ena Lloret-Fritschi was appointed Mercator Fellow by the TRR 277 AMC in honor of her contributions to the AMC. Within the context of her AMC cooperation, she contributed by sharing her experience in digital processing systems for concrete, as well as by cooperating for the development of printable earth mixtures in joint workshops involving both AMC senior researchers and AMC PhD students from TUBS and TUM. The ongoing collaboration focuses on advancing the extrusion 3D printing with natural and earth-based materials for reusable earth formworks, including building up processing twins, developing clear methodologies for experimental studies, and advancing dedicated material mixtures. As outcome of her Mercator Fellowship collaborative work, a final demonstrator will be printed together with AMC staff. The research will lead to a documentation of the process methodology and a validation with a final demonstrator, which will be published in a high-level journal anticipated in 2023. In addition to a rich exchange between the working groups of Prof. Dr. Hack and Prof. Dr. Dörfler, a new collaboration emerged with Dr. Ing. Inka Mai from the working group of Prof. Dr. Lowke. For the future, Prof. Dr. Ena Lloret-Fritschi aims to expand the collaboration that started with the AMC Mercator Fellowship and to develop a joint research grant application from it.

Accademia di Architettura Mendrisio, USI-ARC, Switzerland

Guest researchers

AMC-Mercator-Fellow Prof. Dr. Laura De Lorenzis was Professor and Director of the Institute of Applied Mechanics at TU Braunschweig from 2013 to early 2020 and was part of the initial team of the AMC. In February 2020 she became Professor of Computational Mechanics at ETH Zurich. Since then, she nevertheless participated in the meetings of the AMC and thus continued to make a scientific contribution to the AMC. In honor of her recent and future contribution to the AMC Laura De Lorenzis was appointed as AMC-Mercator-Fellow by the TRR 277 AMC in late 2022. In her AMC-Mercator-Fellowship she started to and will further integrate in the AMC the computational technology that her PhD student Helge Hille recently developed under her supervision (in collaboration with Sid Kumar, former Postdoc in the group and now Assistant professor at the TU Delft), which is denoted as Floating Isogeometric Analysis (FLIGA). This technology is currently the only option available to simulate in a Lagrangian setting mechanical problems involving material behavior with history variables and featuring extreme deformations along one characteristic direction, such as the extrusion problem. FLIGA will be specifically integrated with the future project A09 of PL Mai and PL Hack on Injection 3D Concrete Printing, in order to simulate this novel process. Once the simulation is calibrated and validated to be quantitatively predictive, it can be used to explore the vast design space of the process, explain observed instabilities, and ultimately optimize the process with virtual experiments, much faster and less expensive than actual ones. The first comparisons with preliminary experimental results at the TU Braunschweig have been carried out and a joint journal publication together with different AMC Project Leaders as well as joint presentations at international conferences (e.g. the upcoming Sim-Am conference in Munich, July 2023) are planned for the near future. The experimental results stemming from the AMC will be an important benchmark for FLIGA, as they will allow Prof. Dr. Laura De Lorenzis and her team at ETH Zürich to test FLIGA on a complicated challenge with quantitative results.

Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, D-MAVT

Guest researchers

AMC-Mercator-Fellow Asst. Prof. Dr. Mariana Popescu is from the TU Delft and within architectural design, her area of expertise is computational and parametric design with a focus on digital fabrication and sustainable design. Her extensive involvement research projects related to promoting sustainability has led to a multilateral development of skills, which combine the fields of architecture, engineering, computational design, and digital fabrication. More specifically, her research is centred around digitally fabricated stay-in-place formwork systems for complex concrete geometries using 3D-knitting techniques. Her interest in additive manufacturing technologies, structural efficiency, and fabrication with material effectiveness is closely related the research of TRR 277 Additive Manufacturing in Construction (AMC). In 2022, Mariana Popescu was appointed as AMC-Mercator-Fellow by the TRR 277 AMC in honor of her contribution to the AMC One of her contributions within the AMC was the joint development of a cross-university student summer school/ seminar between TU Munich, TU Braunschweig, and TU Delft in 2022 and 2023. The seminar aims to bridge fundamental principles of geometric computation and design and use these insights to develop new algorithms and tools for 3D shape generation, simulation, structural design, and manufacturing in design and engineering. Students joining from all three institutions are taught innovative computational design solutions for advanced manufacturing and construction at various scales through the development of a textile reinforced bridge demonstrator. The prototype combines digital from finding techniques, 3D knitted flexible formworks, and shotcrete 3D printing, thus bringing together researchers from several projects within the AMC (C06, A04, B04, C02, C03, C04). The cooperation with the AMC has made it possible to scale-up and automate a previously developed technique. This is an important contribution as it takes one step closer to being able to apply these methods in a real-world environment in terms of construction. Moreover, in bringing together researchers and teaching students from different universities and different faculties the completion of the prototype also proves the importance of cross-disciplinary collaboration and, importantly, the education of a new type of professional in the field of construction. Beyond this collaboration phase, new synergies have been created with researchers from the AMC and a sustained collaboration beyond the term of the fellowship is expected to emerge. In the short term this can be started through joint guidance of master thesis students. Finally, Within the remaining time of the collaboration in 2023, the aim is to distil the opportunities and challenges identified within the development of the prototype and develop a joint research grant proposal that would enable a sustained collaboration.

Civil Engineering and Geosciences, TU Delft

Guest researchers

AMC-Mercator-Fellow Prof. Dr. Nicolas Roussel is in charge of the research activities dealing with rheology and processing of construction materials at the Navier Laboratory, FRANCE. He is the founding editor of the RILEM technical letters journal, president of the RILEM association and has received in 2007 the Robert L’Hermite award for his work on rheology of fresh concrete. With a Thompson Reuters H-index of 54 and more than 8.000 citations, he is the author or co-author of more than 130 papers in scientific journals such as Cement and Concrete Research, Physical Review letters or Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics. His research focus spreads from concrete rheology and rheometry to the understanding of construction processing technologies. Thereby his work covers various technology readiness levels and includes mixing and dispersion, centrifugation and granulation, vibration and compaction, molding, spraying and coating along with automation in construction. In 2022, Nicolas Roussel was appointed as AMC-Mercator-Fellow by the TRR 277 AMC in honor of his contribution to the AMC. Within the context of its AMC cooperation, he recently contributed to a workshop on “Materials and Processes in Additive Manufacturing” at TUBS, having the opportunity to see and discuss the research results and outputs of several AMC PhD and post doc researchers. This intensive exchange has led to the planning of a number of joint and collective publications dealing with the rheology and thixotropy of cement-based materials. According to Nicolas Roussel, the cooperation with the AMC as AMC-Mercator-Fellow “offers the opportunity to directly interact with high-level PhD students also in the coming years and thus to foster the AMC’s strategic topics for the European industry”. As a result of the above interactions, Prof. Dirk Lowke and Prof. Nicolas Roussel are planning for the submission of Franco-German ANR/DFG research project.

Navier Laboratory, Université Gustave Eiffel