Additive Stereotomy

This concept consists of a series of constant stress arches, constructed from voussoirs (building blocks) that are 3D printed using binder jetting technology. Additive Stereotomy represents a novel building system thought to realize a vaulted space to be fabricated by means of large scale additive manufacturing techniques. 

Additive Stereotomy is a proposal by Maurizio Barberio and Micaela Colella of Barberio Colella ARC and the New Fundamentals Research Group, Polytechnic University of Bari. The arches are divided into 3D printed voussoirs which have a load bearing core and two variably cantilevered slimmer parts on the sides. The cantilevering side parts can be shaped in such a way as to create differentiated openings to permit natural lighting and, at the same time, insert artificial lighting systems.

The overall concept is to cover a large, open space by a series of adjacent arches. Under permanent load, the arches are thought to be statically independent, in order to form a sort of “false vault”. The use of parallel arches allows the creation of a freeform barrel vault, in which the overall shape of the structure is not determined by the static behaviour of a traditional, doubly curved vault. In other words, each arch must resist only its own weight and the prestress loads.

Material properties are based on the 3D printing technology provided by Concr3de. Each voussoir is topologically optimized in 2D to achieve a volume fraction specific to its position in the arch, in order to achieve constant stress, yet with a visually similar sizing. The entire arch is prestressed by a central tendon, to deal with live loads, and allowing the assembly and disassembly of the arch. The prestress disturbs the stress state for a conventional constant stress arch, requiring its shape to be reassessed. Summum Engineering determined the shape of the arches and volume fraction of the voussoirs to achieve constant stress, as well as the amount of prestress to keep them in compression under external load.

From April 20th to the 29th 2018, visualizations and 3D printed models of Additive Stereotomy were exhibited at Par Excellence in New York. The models were provided by Apulia Makers 3D. The event, “Stereotomy 2.0 and Digital Construction Tools”, included a workshop and symposium. The exhibition boasted an impressive line-up, including entries from Zaha Hadid CoDe, P.ART and AKT II, the Block Research Group, and other. The exhibit was curated by Giuseppe Fallacara and Christian Pongratz with the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT).

The project was continued in the form of a Master thesis by Simone Rutigliano, under supervision by Maurizio Barberio and prof. Giuseppe Carlo Marano at the Polytechnic University of Bari. Simone spent two months at Summum Engineering for his thesis work. His work focused on deriving an improved arch shape that also accounts for the constant prestress in the tendons, as well as the topological optimization of the voussoirs, extending the two-dimensional that had been done by us to three-dimensional models (see the video below).


Design and concept
Maurizio Barberio, Micaela Colella | Barberio Colella ARC, New Fundamentals Research Group, Polytechnic University of Bari

Structural design and engineering
Diederik Veenendaal | Summum Engineering

Additional graduate thesis work
Simone Rutigliano, Maurizio Barberio, Giuseppe Carlo Marano | Polytechnic University of Bari

    Time: 2018
    Status: Concept

    Services: Structural design and engineering, parametric modelling.


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