Whilst we design digitally we still construct manually. Today designers must adapt their ideas to the limited range of manufacturing techniques available to produce them. Robotics and 3D printing at the architectural scale are set to massively disrupt the construction industry. Allowing for the production of new forms, structures and production methodologies.

Additive topologies is a one week introduction to the principles behind implementing robotics and 3D printing at the architectural scale. Working with computational and physical tools to create design and fabrication strategies.


Additive topologies explores the relationship between digital and physical tools, investigating material and tool properties. Creating a feedback loop of mutually informed design and fabrication strategies in order to achieve a structural outcome.

The course will also include lectures on computational design, simulation, robotics and analysis techniques.


The aim of the workshop is to 3D print a structure horizontally or vertically as far as possible with a finite quantity of wax material. These constraints will produce innovate strategies for the development of new typologies and understanding of material properties.

The workshop will begin by investigating the material properties through physical experimentation. Simultaneously learning to use a custom 3D printer mounted on the 6 axis robot. Feeding that data back into computational tools such as Rhino / Grasshopper informing the design strategy. Utilising the grasshopper plugin KUKA Prc to simulate robot kinematics and generate code to run the robot. The results of physical tests then fed are then used to optimise the design criteria, structural considerations and inform the fabrication strategy. The final outcome being a set of gravity defying optimised 3D printed structures.


Day 1/  07/12
Introductory lecture on robotics in construction
Setting out the aim of workshop in context
Introduction to tools that will be used
Introduction to the digital tools (KUKA Prc & robot manipulation)
Introduction to the tool (Wax 3D printing head)
Basic experimentation with material and 3D printing mechanism

Day 2/  08/12
Lecture on robotics (TBA)
Production of basic shapes with printer
Testing and recording material experiments
Quantifying inaccuracies and calibration

Day 3/  09/12
Lecture on computational design
Introduction to digital design tools (Grasshopper, lattice)
Establishing performance metrics
Creating a feedback loop to inform the design

Day 4/  10/12
Morning lecture (TBA)
Further development of system
Process optimisation

Day 5/  10/12
Final printing of structures
Final day awards


The workshop is open to all participants, no previous knowledge of Rhinoceros and Grasshopper is required (although an introductory knowledge is welcome). Participants should bring their own laptop with a pre-installed software.  The software package needed has no additional cost for the participant (Rhino can be downloaded as evaluation version, Grasshopper and plugins are free). These softwares are subject to frequent updates, so a download link to the version used in the workshop will be sent to the participants a few days before the workshop.


//a KUKA + Grasshopper workshop


07-11th of December  2015


Faculty of architecture, Slovak University of Technology | FA STU
Bratislava – Slovakia


rese arch (Ján Pernecký and Tomáš Tholt)
Faculty of Architecture, Slovak University of Technology


Ministry of culture of the Slovak Republic
Volkswagen Slovakia
JaOnMi CreatureS
Divadelná fakulta VŠMU


Stuart Maggs
Architect and researcher in the field of construction robotics. Experience of creating digital and physical tools for architecture and construction. Stuart was part of the team behind Minibuilders a set of small agile robots 3D printing objects much larger than themselves. Master in Advanced Architecture at IAAC [Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalunya].



Faculty of architecture, Slovak University of Technology | FA STU
Námestie slobody
Bratislava, Slovakia

Room 069


Andrei Padure
Konrad Zellner
Ralf Bliem
Konrad Zaremba
Afshin Koupaei

Francisco Tapia
Giorgio Castellano
Andrei Raducanu
Sebastian Comanescu




Until November 15 


149 €