Is a smart home truly smart if it’s not built by a robot? The DFAB House, a three-story building currently under construction at the technical school ETH Zurich, isn’t just built by one robot—it’s the product of five robots, each armed with a special digital fabrication skill set needed to autonomously construct a building.
Case in point: DFAB’s wild ceiling. ETH Zurich recently showed off a decorative ceiling that’s half the weight of typical concrete slabs. The architects created the ceiling’s undulating form by casting concrete in a 3D-printed mold designed with the help of some clever software.
By inputting parameters like room dimension and shape, the program is able to devise a design that uses the minimal amount of concrete necessary to support a two-story timber structure that sits above the ceiling.
At its most delicate, the concrete slab is just 20 millimeters thick, which has both aesthetic and functional benefits. Sure, it allows for major savings on material and weight, but just as important, its complex rippling pattern is simply beautiful to look at.