• digital fabrication;
  • CNC production;
  • six-plus axis robot;
  • CAD-to-CAM data processing steps;
  • biomimetics;
  • biologically informed material system;
  • plate skeletons;
  • sand dollar species;
  • heterogeneity;
  • anisotropy;
  • Markus Burger and Oliver Krieg, Robotically manufactured finger-joints system, Institute for Computational Design (ICD), University of Stuttgart;
  • finite element (FE);
  • analysis;
  • seven-axis robotic fabrication process;
  • Arduino platform


Following in the footsteps of more progressive industries, digital fabrication in architecture is on the brink of shifting from task-specific computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines to more generic industrial robots. The change from machine hardware and control software developed to facilitate a specific fabrication process towards more open-ended and generic fabrication devices enables architects to design custom fabrication processes and machine-control protocols. Achim Menges and Tobias Schwinn present how these advanced machine capabilities expand the interface between design computation and physical materialisation. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.