Digital design and fabrication of clay formwork for concrete casting

Salma Mozaffari, Mackenzie Bruce, Gabrielle Clune, Ruxin Xie, Wesley McGee, Arash Adel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This paper investigates the potential of clay extrusion as formwork for casting customized and building-scale fiber-reinforced concrete elements. Customizable shapes are produced using clay as cheap, sustainable, and easily demoldable formwork, extending its printable height limit. The coupled incremental clay 3D printing and concrete casting process allows the layered casts to start curing and reduces the hydrostatic pressure from concrete. The concluding case study, the Cocoon, demonstrates the method's capability to achieve building-scale height, integrate openings, and create complex surfaces. The introduced method seeks to challenge techniques and materials for 3D-printed formworks, demonstrating the ability to reduce the environmental impacts of concrete construction without compromising the complexity and time efficiency of bespoke elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104969
JournalAutomation in Construction
StatePublished - Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Clay extrusion
  • Formwork 3D printing
  • Glass fiber reinforced concrete
  • Sustainability


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