Additive Manufacturing Methods for Composite Structures in Construction


Development of a fiber deposition head for robotic additive manufacturing of large-scale carbon and glass fiber winded components

In the research project AddFiberFab the manufacturing of large robotic-wound fiber composite components is further developed in order to produce cantilevered and individual load-adapted supporting structures. The components, designed for the construction industry, can be winded without any mandrel. Computional methods allow different fiber patterns for each component, so that high load-adaptility, multimaterial and fully stressed structures can be manufactured. The increasing demand for resource efficient material consuption in construction industry is thus addressed.

In the additive manufacturing process multiple rovings are placed successively to creat components whose dimensions and fiber taxonomy can be adapted to the needs of the overall structure. Varying components can be built systematically with a single production setup.

Scalable robotic winding setup

As a special feature of the manufacturing process no core is needed as the fibers are spanned by a six-axis-robot between two frames freely. This allows high complex multi-material components. However, the motion programming and the interaction between the winding frames and additionally with the external axis is challenging.

ITFT is focusing on the development and optimization of a new fiber placement head for the robotic set-up as well as the peripheral devices needed, like a creel or resin/hardner supply unit. The high quality simultaneous deposition of six carbon or glass rovings is provided by the integration of multiple sensors for online quality monitoring into the robot head. Some of the sensors and measurment concepts will be newly developed from scrach. The most important aspect is the real time adjustment of the winding parameters based on the sensor data analysis.

One aim of the project is to provide the technology to build a large-scale demonstrator in form of a hemispherical pavilion for the Federal Garden Show 2019 in Heilbronn. The wound components will be assembled and covered by a translucent foil.

The opening is scheduled for 4/17/2019.

Project duration

June 2017 – May 2019

Project team

ITFT Institute for Textile and Fiber Technologies, University of Stuttgart
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Götz T. Gresser, Pascal Mindermann

ICD Institute for Computational Design and Construction, University of Stuttgart
Prof. Achim Menges, Serban Bodea, Niccolò Dambrosio

ITKE Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design, University of Stuttgart
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jan Knippers, Valentin Koslowski

Associated partners

SGL Carbon GmbH, Jochen Gast
Hexion Stuttgart GmbH, Johannes Meunier
Kuka Roboter GmbH, Frank Zimmermann
Landesagentur für Leichtbau Baden Württemberg, Dr. Wolfgang Seeliger
Allianz für Faserbasierte Werkstoffe Baden-Württemberg (AFBW), Ulrike Möller
German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research (DITF), Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Milwich
Institute of Aircraft Design (IFB) University of Stuttgart, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Middendorf


This research has been funded by the Baden-Württemberg Foundation / project AddFiberFab.


This image shows Pascal Mindermann M.Sc.

Pascal Mindermann M.Sc.


Research Associate

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