An Integrated Workflow for Designing and Fabricating Multi-Functional Building Components through Additive Manufacturing with Clay

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This article presents a project that explores the potential of Additive Manufacturing (AM) for designing and fabricating multi-functional building components for improved climate performance. In this project, an innovative façade wall design was developed by using a computational method in an attempt to integrate a displacement ventilation system into the wall. A robotic AM solution is integrated into the workflow as a potentially feasible fabrication method for the resulting wall design with an intricate geometry. Clay is proposed as the AM material, being a potential low-carbon building material. To this end, a material exploration of clay was conducted to develop an appropriate composite for AM. A displacement ventilation system was developed to achieve better indoor air quality by using a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model. Subsequently, an AM solution was integrated into the workflow to automate the fabrication phase. Finally, a partial prototype of the design was made through AM with clay to demonstrate the feasibility and observe the material qualities of the final product. The proposed workflow proves applicable, highlighting directions for future research.