Machining PRAXIS in Architecture 2

Afshin Koupaei
Architecture, Digital Production
2023S, scientific seminar (SEW), 2.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S04513


This course emphasizes on the use of advanced machining technologies in architectural design and making. Utilizing machining not only as means for making but also as an apparatus for design is at the core of Machining PRAXIS in Architecture.
Students will put to use the knowledge gathered from the individual experiments of MPA-1 for the design, development, and making of a real-scale pavilion.

the course timeline has 5 sections:

1- Design phase: individual students or teams of students will propose initial ideas and designs for the final pavilion, based on the achievements of MPA-1. These ideas will be eventually evaluated and one idea will be selected as the goal of the entire class. The teams will be assigned for further development of the design and details.

2- Workshops and tutorials: Diving into advanced CAD/CAM techniques and the processes of incorporating robots in the architectural making, students will prepare for the making of the pavilion. This phase will cover specific topics necessary for the making of the chosen idea.

3- Setup: teams will run initial tests to cope with the issues of making, finalizing the design, and calibrating the settings of the machines.

4- Making: students will make all the individual parts of the pavilion over this phase.

5- Assembly.

Examination Modalities

Students will be evaluated for the following objectives during the course and as they participate in the process of design+development+making.

1- Machining proficiency: making accurate machining files and employing machines.

2- Design: students' designs will be evaluated based on their relevance to the topic and their learning from the previous experiments that have helped them propose an idea.

3- Teamwork and timely delivery of assignments

4- Active participation

5- Creative problem-solving


Requirements :

  • This course is exclusively for those who have participated in MPA-1.
  • If you are a student who did not manage to join the MPA-1 or you are from disciplines other than Architecture and wish to participate in this course, please write me an e-mail in advance ( and I will evaluate the chances you may be able to participate.
  • Full proficiency with Rhino and proper knowledge of Grasshopper is required.
  • Competence with RhinoCAM and dexterity in using CNC milling machines (special case at IOA, ISEL)
  • Participants are required to bring their own laptops/computers (co-working or two students on one laptop is not an option). This Laptop/Workstation needs to be present at the location of the course with the participant as they are required to make files during the course hours.
  • Participants should have a Microsoft Windows installed on their computers ( Plug-in requirements )

Key Words

CNC, Design, Manufacturing, Architecture, CAD, CAM, computer-aided manufacturing, Subtractive Manufacturing, Robotic


15 March 2023, 10:45–12:15 Seminar Room 3 , "Kick-Off + review of previous work + reviewing the timeline + brainstorming about the design section" (preliminary discussion)
22 March 2023, 10:45–14:00 Seminar Room 3 , "Design Session - 1"
29 March 2023, 10:45–14:00 Seminar Room 3 , "Design Session - 2 - shortlisting the ideas - Guest : Sam, Franz Univ.-Lekt. Arch. Dipl.-Ing."
19 April 2023, 09:00–14:00, "Robotic Fabrication Workshop - at DDPLAB , 1st floor, IOA" (guest lecture: M.A. Andrea Rossi)
26 April 2023, 10:45–14:00 Seminar Room 3 , "Workshop/Tutorial"
03 May 2023, 10:45–14:00 Seminar Room 3 , "Tutorial/Setup"
10 May 2023, 10:45–13:00, "Setup - Individual teams"
17 May 2023, 10:45–13:00, "Setup - Individual teams"
24 May 2023, 10:45–13:00, "Making - Individual teams"
31 May 2023, 10:45–13:00, "Making - Individual teams"
07 June 2023, 10:45–13:00, "Making - Individual teams"
14 June 2023, 10:45–13:00, "Making - Individual teams"
24 June 2023, 10:00–17:00, "Assembly day - 1"
25 June 2023, 10:00–17:00, "Assembly day - 2"

Course Enrolment

Until 16 March 2023, 23:45
Via online registration

Architecture (Master): Expertise: Instrumentarium: Supplementary Subjects 443/004.99

Co-registration: possible

Attending individual courses: possible