Digital production and assembly: 3D printing and such

Free-from pavilion. Illustration: NTNU / AB faculty: John Haddal Mork.


3D printing processes have been applied to many different domains in recent years: furniture, medicine, fashion, and even food. Specific applications range from bionic ears to "space pizzas" for astronauts. 3D printing processes have been used in architecture for a long time, mainly for prototyping. We are currently investigating how this 3D printing and other additive manufacturing processes may revolutionize the way we construct buildings.

3D printing technologies handle particularly well complexity, be it complex environments or complex designs. This means these technologies make it possible to build constructions in unavailable or dangerous surroundings (e.g. Mars) as well as to build special architectonical buildings with irregular shapes and complex connections.

Tailor-made 3D printed connections needed for the freeform pavilion. Illustration: NTNU / AB faculty: John Haddal Mork.

We are investigating how to exploit 3D printing technologies and such for non-complex constructions (which form the vast majority of projects): the whole construction process must be reconsidered – from planning and structural design to construction and use. By linking together various subjects such as architecture, structural engineering, materials science and assembly with an efficient workflow, construction will be easily tailored to the customers' needs and better adapted to local conditions.


This is an ongoing project for incorporating new production methods in conceptual structural design. We are currently building a consortium of interested international partners from the whole value-chain: industries, SME, universities and research centres. Our intention is to apply to Europe-funded research projects from 2017.