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Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
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Additive Manufacturing of Architectural Structures

Additive Manufacturing of Architectural Structures

3D Printing for Mars Habitat

The project focuses efforts in three areas: development of a novel concrete formulation, development of the 3D printing processes, and design and development of the overall 3D printing system necessary to print large structures. The production of the geopolymer binder used in the formulation of the concrete designed by the team does not emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, unlike the production of Portland cement (the most common type of cement). Current expertise in 3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, is leveraged to transfer expertise with smaller-scale printers and their associated processes to the large-scale printing of concrete.

The project is based on previous research aimed at developing functionally-graded materials and verifying the possibility of designing and constructing seamless buildings, which can have a significant impact on architectural language and building processes. The project aims to develop additive manufacturing technology to 3D print habitats using a specially formulated concrete made from materials that can be found on Mars but can be applicable on Earth.

Shadi Nazarian Associate Professor of Architecture Learn More
José Pinto Duarte Stuckeman Chair in Design Innovation; Director, Stuckeman Center for Design Computing Learn More

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Ashrafi, N.; Nazarian, S.; Meisel, N.; Duarte, J. “Experimental Prediction of Material Deformation in Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing of Concrete,” in Journal of Additive Manufacturing. Available online 13 October 2020, 101656

Li, Z.; Hojati, M.; Wu, Z.; Piasente, J.; Ashrafi, N.; Duarte, J.P.; Nazarian, S.; Bilén, S.G.; Memari, A.M.; Radlińska, A. “Fresh and Hardened Properties of Extrusion-Based 3D-printed Cementitious Materials: A Review.” Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5628. DOI:

Craveiro, F.; Bártolo, H.; Bártolo, P.; Nazarian, S.; Duarte, J.P. “An automated system for 3D printing functionally graded concrete-based materials,” in Additive Manufacturing. (Available online 22 February 2020)

Craveiro, F.; Bártolo, H.; Duarte, J.P.; Bártolo, P. “Review on additive Manufacturing as an enabling technology for digital construction: a perspective on Construction 4.0” in Automation in Construction, Vol. 103, April 2019, pp. 251-267. DOI: 10.1016/j.autcon.2019.03.011

Ashrafi, N.; Duarte, J.P.; Nazarian, N.; Meisel, N. “Evaluating the Relationship between Deposition and Layer Quality in Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing of Concrete” in Bourel, David (ed.) Journal of Virtual and Physical Prototyping, March 2018, pp. 2-6. Doi:

Craveiro, F.; Bártolo, H.M.; Gale, A.; Duarte, J.P.; Bartolo, P.J. “A design tool for resource-efficient fabrication of 3d-graded structural building components using additive manufacturing.” Automation in Construction 82 (2017) 75–83.