TU Dresden RWTH Leibniz Institut

Shell structures developed from locking blocks

In a fascinating project, innovative shell structures are being developed from locking blocks

Shell structures developed from locking blocks
Tobias Neef

Shell structures developed from locking blocks

The lockable blocks were discovered in subproject A04 and can be assembled in a versatile manner. Some of these assembly methods are based on crystallographic groups, also known as wallpaper symmetries. The construction method for creating the blocks is based on the idea of smoothly transitioning two tessellations in two different planes. As seen in the image, this transition occurs from a square on the bottom to a rectangle on the top.

Based on the virtually modeled and constructed blocks, a G-code was generated. To bring the ideas into reality, the team from subproject A04 collaborates closely with subproject D01, where concrete blocks have been 3D printed using additive manufacturing techniques. The printed blocks can now be assembled into an impressive shell, as shown in the attached image.

One of the biggest challenges is achieving precise dimensional accuracy and ensuring consistently high print quality of the blocks. This is crucial for successfully realizing the construction of the shell. The project impressively demonstrates how modern technologies such as additive manufacturing and virtual modeling can be brought together to create innovative architectural structures. It is an exciting example of how advancements in construction technology open up new possibilities for creative and efficient design methods.


Dipl.-Ing. Tobias Neef

Technische Universität Dresden
Institute of Construction Materials
D-01062 Dresden

Phone: +49 351 463-43217

Institute website