Numerical Sculpting: Volumetric Modelling Tools for In Place Spatial Additive Manufacturing

  • Ioanna MitropoulouEmail author
  • Inés ArizaEmail author
  • Mathias BernhardEmail author
  • Benjamin Dillenburger
  • Fabio Gramazio
  • Matthias Kohler
Conference paper


This paper presents a novel application of volumetric modelling (VM) for the design of fabrication-informed three-dimensional deposition paths for in place spatial additive manufacturing (AM). VM offers modelling techniques for designing with great geometric flexibility using numeric data, as well as for managing fabrication constraints. To address the challenges and new design possibilities presented by in place spatial AM, we propose a set of tools to design deposition paths with embedded fabrication constraints, as well as methods to combine VM with curve and surface geometry to generate production data. As a case study, we implement this toolset to create wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) connections of standard elements. A comparison of virtual and physical results is presented to validate the approach. Finally, we discuss potentials and limitations of using VM tools for fabrication-aware design of in place spatial AM.


Volumetric modelling Fabrication-aware design Additive manufacturing Collision control 



This research is the outcome of the master’s thesis developed by Ioanna Mitropoulou and jointly tutored by Inés Ariza (Gramazio Kohler Research) and Mathias Bernhard (Digital Building Technologies) in the context of the Master of Advanced Studies in Architecture and Digital Fabrication at ETH Zurich.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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