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Adaptive Robotic Fabrication for Building Design

This course investigates the use of adaptive robotic fabrication, a design and making approach that seeks to increase the number and nature of feedback loops between materials and structure.

About this course

The combination of computational design and computer-numerically-controlled (CNC) fabrication processes (including robotics) offers architects the possibility to regain a direct connection to materials and their manipulation.

This course focuses on the most profound impact of this shift: that architects gain the ability to create adaptive design systems that respond to material and fabrication systems. As a participant in this course, you will design and produce 1:1 prototypes using robotic rod-bending and adaptive digital design models.

Course outline

You will start by exploring examples from the current state-of-the-art in robotic fabrication in architecture, engaging in discussions of the potential disciplinary shifts that these processes enable and foreshadow. Following an induction to the UTS DAB Advanced Fabrication Lab, you’ll investigate the robotic workcell, getting hands on with specific system elements and the various forms of robotic motion.

Next, you’ll observe the fabrication process, which will be demonstrated using rod-bend sub-assembly, illustrating each of the key process parameters. You will then use Rhino 3D, Python programming and/or Grasshopper 3D to develop your designs and produce the necessary instruction files to have them fabricated.

Starting with a simple parametric assembly, you’ll produce your first material prototype, working through an iterative process to evolve the design, your unique performance objectives, and a set of 1:1 prototypes. Finally, you’ll use photogrammetry to scan your prototype, enabling you to compare the as-built object with the initial digital model.

Course learning objectives 

By the end of this course, you'll understand: 

  • The fundamentals of state-of-the-art robotic fabrication in architecture 
  • Generative and parametric design processes implemented in Python and Grasshopper 3D
  • 1:1 prototyping via robotic bending
  • How to use photogrammetry to produce 3D models
  • Adaptive design strategies.

Key benefits of this microcredential

Successfully completing the course will equip participants with knowledge and expertise in innovative and emerging digital tools. Participants will gain relevant skills in the application of these tools within the design field allowing for their use in various parts of industry-based projects.

This microcredential aligns with the 3-credit point subject, Adaptive Robotic Fabrication for Building Design (80110) in the Master of Technology. This microcredential may qualify for recognition of prior learning at this and other institutions.

Who is this course for?

The course is for professionals and academics who want to advance their knowledge of computational design methods, robotic fabrication systems and/or their potential impacts on the discipline and practice of architecture. Architects, engineers, industrial designers, computer scientists, roboticists and fabricators are all appropriate and very welcome participants.

Teaching and learning strategies

Face to Face learning through the use of digital tools.

Assessment criteria

Assessment will be Pass/Fail.

Mandatory requirement

  • Participants must have previous knowledge and use of 3D modelling software, preferably Rhino 3D. 
  • Basic knowledge and prior use of either Python programming or Grasshopper 3D.

Minimum requirements

To pass the course, participants must have full attendance and complete all submission requirements as per the assessment criteria stated in the course outline.


Morning and afternoon tea provided.

Fees and Discount

Full price: $2,500 (GST free)

Special price: $1,500 (GST free) 

To help you build future-focused skills during COVID-19, this course is currently offered at a reduced rate of $1,500 (Full price $2,500).

Please note that discounts cannot be combined. A limit of one discount applies per person per course session.

Additional information

NSW Health advice

UTS is undertaking a number of social distancing initiatives, informed by NSW Health advice, to help reduce social interactions in support of the government’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. As it stands, the date of the microcredential is yet to be impacted by these initiatives and so the course will move forward unaffected. In the instance that the course cannot move forward as planned and will require to be postponed, participants can choose to remain enrolled and attend during the course’s revised date or request a full refund. Should there be any updates to the above, we will contact all participants with the revised information. If you have any questions in the interim, please do not hesitate to email Dr Mohammed Makki:

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