Machining PRAXIS in Architecture 1

Afshin Koupaei
Architecture, Digital Production
2023W, scientific seminar (SEW), 4.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S04297



(Machining PRAXIS in Architecture -1,  will explore the applications of Computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines and machining technologies in architectural design and making.

The course will cover techniques of machining relevant for architects and processes of assembly. Students will learn how to choose the appropriate materials and machining tools in order to acquire the required end-product quality/accuracy. The course's final project is a 1:1 installation, made of several components. Each student is responsible for designing and making one component. This component should properly fit the rest of the installation. Students of the course will learn how to design in accordance with the potentials and limitations of machining; how to prepare machining files and how to produce the final machined piece while preparing and making the final installation.


Machining Praxis in Architecture and Adaptive Strategies are joining forces this semester to make an interactive installation. Students are encouraged to participate in both courses. It is also possible for students to participate only in one of the respective courses and team up with a student from the other. The final installation will be a responsive/interactive installation. The interaction design and strategies will be discovered and implemented in the Adaptive Strategies course and the general design, adapting to responsive behavior, connections with other components and the fabrication will be carried out in the Machining Praxis in Architecture course.  More details will be discussed in the kick-off session of both courses. Please visit the Adaptive Strategies seminar page for more information and do not hesitate to contact the course directors if you have further questions.



The course will cover the following objectives:

- The process of making, from CAD to CAM to Machining

- Machining strategies

- Materials for machining

-Machining tools

-Architectural Manufacturing through machining

-2 Axis and 3 Axis machining (file making, utilizing machines)

- Precision tolerances in machining

- Collaborative machining and manufacturing

- Safety regulations for machining

Examination Modalities

Students will be individually responsible for the design modification, G-CODE preparation, and machining of their assigned unit/module in order to improve their skills as well as prove their proficiency at machining. Students will be evaluated during the semester and at each step according to their performance. To be able to receive a grade, students need to deliver the final assigned component and actively participate in the final installation.

Active participation in the course and taking part in the in-course assignments is necessary.


- Participation in the kick-off session of the course is compulsory.

- It is highly recommended that students take this course during their first year of studies and latest in their third semester.

- This course is compulsory for those who want to become  a Milling Assistant/Tutor at one of the Architecture Studios of the IOA (Studio 1,2,3)

-This Seminar is the pre-requisite for the Machining Praxis in Architecture 2, which takes place in the Summer Semester. Please refer to the seminar page on the base for more information.

- If you are a student from disciplines other than Architecture and wish to participate in this course, please write me an e-mail in advance ( and we will evaluate the chances you may be able to participate.


Requirements :

- 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 course location with the participant every week as they are required to make files during the course hours.

- Participants should have Microsoft Windows installed on their computers ( Plug-in requirements )

- Participants should be familiar with Rhino and be able to deal with basic 3D modelling tasks in Rhino. 

Key Words

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


11 October 2023, 10:30–12:15 Seminar Room 9 , "Participation Compulsory" (preliminary discussion)
18 October 2023, 09:45–12:15 Seminar Room 9
25 October 2023, 09:45–12:15 Seminar Room 9
08 November 2023, 09:45–12:15 Seminar Room 9
15 November 2023, 09:45–12:15 Seminar Room 10
22 November 2023, 09:45–12:15 Seminar Room 9
29 November 2023, 09:45–12:15 Seminar Room 10
06 December 2023, 09:45–12:15 Seminar Room 9
13 December 2023, 09:45–12:15 Seminar Room 9
10 January 2024, 10:30–12:15 (examination)

Course Enrolment

From 10 July 2023, 08:00 to 18 October 2023, 23:00
Via online registration

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

Co-registration: possible

Attending individual courses: possible