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Additive Manufacturing of Architectural Structures

Research project: Jul 2016 to Jun 2021

Project description: 

The project focuses efforts in three areas: development of a novel concrete formulation, development of the 3D printing processes, and design and development of the overall 3D printing system necessary to print large structures. The production of the geopolymer binder used in the formulation of the concrete designed by the team does not emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, unlike the production of Portland cement (the most common type of cement). Current expertise in 3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, is leveraged to transfer expertise with smaller-scale printers and their associated processes to the large-scale printing of concrete.

The project is based on previous research aimed at developing functionally-graded materials and verifying the possibility of designing and constructing seamless buildings, which can have a significant impact on architectural language and building processes. The project aims to develop additive manufacturing technology to 3D print habitats using a specially formulated concrete made from materials that can be found on Mars but can be applicable on Earth.


Shadi Nazarian, José Duarte, Jamie Heilman (Stuckeman School)
Sven Bilén, Nick Meisel (SEDTAPP)
Ali Memari, Aleksandra Radlinska (CEE)
Clive Randall (MRI)
Randal Bock (ABE)

Research Assistants:

Negar Ashrafi, Flávio Craveiro (Stuckeman School)
Minhyeok Ko, Keunhyoung Park, Sulaiman Alsaqer (CEE - Structures)
Maryam Hojati, Juliana Neves (CEE - Materials) 
Andrew Przyjemski, Jivtesh Khurana, Nate Watson (SEDTAPP)

Units at Penn State:

Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, College of Arts and Architecture
School of Engineering Design, Technology and Professional Programs, College of Engineering (SEDTAPP)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering (CEE)
Materials Research Institute (MRI)
Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, College of Agricultural Sciences (ABE)

Partner Institutions:

Institute for Energy and the Environment
Sustainability Institute
Cyber Institute

Related courses: