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Joris Welles

Date and time: 2-11-2021 - 15:30

Track: Building Engineering

Topic: Advancing thin-tile vaults: structural analysis & robotic construction

Description: Thin-tile vaults are a a type of vaults that went out of fashion in the early twentieth century. Its origins are around the Mediterranean, but modern interest is mostly due to Guastavino, and the research done at MIT and ETH. The thin-tile vaults have a unique construction method without any temporary support. Eventually the increase in labour costs and the advancements in concrete and steel made the structure non-competitive. Robotics are a type of machines that can perform (semi)-automated tasks. In the past decades the development of robots have led to their implementation in the construction industry. Robots developed specifically for masonry show a high promise where they're able to lay much more bricks than even the most skilled mason. This research aims to investigate the time it takes for a robot to construct a thin-tile vault, and thereafter to advance the possibilities of research into and construction of the thin-tile vault. This is researched by answering the following question:How does a robotic construction of a parametrically designed thin-tile vault perform based on step-wise structural analyses?

Key-words: Thin-tile vault, Masonry, Robotics, Grasshopper, RoboDK, digital architecture, digital fabrication