3D-Printing of Viscous Materials in Construction: New Design Paradigm, from Small Components to Entire Structures

Valentino Sangiorgio, Fabio Parisi, Angelo Vito Graziano, Giosmary Tina, Nicola Parisi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The advent of industry 4.0 in the construction sector is profoundly changing paradigms that enhance the building construction sector. During the last decade, the experimentation of 3D-printing exploiting viscous materials has undergone unprecedented increases by construction companies. Even if reinforced concrete 3D-printing to construct buildings is growing fast, the use of other materials such as clay and raw earth is not yet affirmed both for the building components prefabrication or monolithic constructions. Currently, few 3D-printing applications with clay and raw earth have been experienced by research institutes and companies (e.g. Fablab-Poliba, Italy; Instituto de Arquitectura Avanzada de Cataluña, Spain; WASP company, Italy) for bricks, walls and entire buildings respectively. Beyond practical applications, the academic investigations focused on specific issues only (e.g. structural performances, new design for prefabrication or complex geometry printability). On the other hand, these examples are isolated, and a systematized design paradigm is still missing in the related literature. This chapter aims to define a new design paradigm for 3D-printing with viscous materials. A five-step procedure is proposed to achieve an effective design for both “small components” (to be assembled on site) and “entire structures” (to be printed in situ). The five steps will guide the reader towards the exploitation of the potential of the technology by experimenting complex shapes and by also respecting the actual limits of the machines. The steps include: (i) Definition of the conceptual design; (ii) Parametric modelling, (iii) Slicing software; (iv) Performance and Printability simulation; and (v) 3D-printing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2024
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering
VolumePart F1562
ISSN (Print)2195-4356
ISSN (Electronic)2195-4364


  • 3D construction printing
  • Building design
  • Construction technology
  • Parametric modelling
  • Printability simulation
  • Slicing software


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