Kinetic formwork

This research investigation is concentrated on a robotic casting methodology for the development of complex ecological walls. The methodological framework includes digital design and physical robotic fabrication procedures, existing in a bidirectional manner where the design decision-making informs decisions taken during pre-construction stage and vice versa. In digital design stage, parametric design and multi-objective analysis procedures are introduced, aiming at finding the range of possible solutions under the influence of functional, environmental and structural design criteria. Functional design criterial include appropriate opening sizes and dimensions of walls, environmental design criterial include effective sun shading in the interior space as well as low environmental impact of solutions. Finally, structural criteria include appropriate dimensions and strength of construction materials. In the physical robotic fabrication stage the aim is to produce in actual scale optimum selected design results through the development and use of a kinetic formwork driven by robotic construction principles. The mechanism acts as an end effector tool that is mounted on an industrial robot, aiming to adapt its shape in different optimum design solutions offering flexibility during the robotic construction stage. The research puts forward the hypothesis that digital optimization procedures might be part of the construction decision-making process where architectural systems are examined in terms of their ability to be statically efficient and easily manufactured through the use of robotic and automation mechanisms.    


1 – Conceptual framework of the proposed methodology
2 – Diagram of suggested methodology
3 – Sections of three representative brick geometries
4 – Section of the end-effector model
5 – Physical model of the custom-made end-effector tool mounted on the robotic arm
6 – Produced bricks in series

Ph.D Research, Department of Architecture, University of Cyprus

Research Team:

  • O. Kontovourkis
  • P. Konatzii


  1. Kontovourkis, O., Konatzii, P., 2016. Optimization Process Towards Robotic Manufacturing in Actual Scale – The Implementation of Genetic Algorithms in the Robotic Construction of Modular Formwork Systems. In A. Herneoja, T. Österlund and P. Markkanen, eds. Proceedings of the 34th Conference on Education in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe:  Complexity & Simplicity (Volume 1). Oulu: University of Oulu, pp. 169-178 [link]

  2. Kontovourkis, O., Konatzii, P., 2018. Design-static analysis and environmental assessment investigation based on a kinetic formwork-driven by digital fabrication principles. Proceedings of the 6th eCAADe RIS Conference: Sustainable Computational Workflows,Computational Design and Fabrication towards Sustainable Products and Processes. Nicosia, University of Cyprus, pp.131-140 [link]
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