Jul 8, 2022

Timber Construction presents itself as a Future Technology at the Stallwächterparty in Berlin

In an attempt to showcase the work of researchers to a wider public, digitize wood along with IntCDC and Holzbau-Offensive BW took part in the Stallwächterparty on July 7 in Berlin and presented a demonstration of modern timber construction, with the mobile robot platform "TIM - Timber Platform for Robotic Construction" and the exhibition stand "Fancy Fence" made of stacked wooden slats.

Wooden tables for the evening

Using the robotic platform designed for mobile use and pre-production of wooden building elements, the team made a wooden table that evening to match the stand. The already prefabricated tables not only served as bar tables for the guests during the champagne reception, but also as lecterns for the Baden-Württemberg Minister President Winfried Kretschmann, State Secretary Rudi Hoogvliet and Thomas Strobel, Deputy Minister President and Minister of the Interior, for their welcoming speeches.

The Robot in Detail

Researchers gave an additional axis to the 6-axis Robot by mounting it on a linear axis, allowing it therefore to move between more than one applications.

During the demonstrations, the robot ran on a slower mode than in industries for safety reasons. It was managed by researchers through the use of a control unit. Dr. Felix Amtsberg, a researcher at IntCDC, and Hans-Jakob Wagner, a research associate at IntCDC, were both very proficient in controlling it and programming it to take prepared laths, place them precisely on top of each other, and fix them together with wooden nails.

In fact, one of the different functions of the end effector was that of a vacuum gripper. It repetitively took the laths and located them in the referenced place. After the placement, the end effector would change its function to one of nailing. Hard-wood nails were used as lanyards between the wooden sticks.

The use of the end effector wouldn’t be possible without The Institute for Control Engineering of Machine Tools and Manufacturing Units (ISW), Universität Stuttgart, (ISW). In fact, Alexander Verl and Benjamin Kaiser, both from ISW, were jointly responsible for the planning of the entire plant and Benjamin Kaiser for the integration of the end effector for the 6axis robot arm.

Teamwork Human-Machine Interaction

The set-up was prepared by the exhibition team with the support of the robotic arm. The monitor weighed more than 200kg and had to be carried and placed by the robot arm. It was a successful robot-human interaction proving that some tasks could be better achieved when humans work alongside robots.

Paradigm Shift in Production Processes

Through this demonstration, one can see how innovative automation and digitization strategies and technologies from other branches of industry can be further developed for the special requirements of timber construction.

The bigger aim behind this demonstrator is to transfer the potential of Industry 4.0 to robotic prefabrication in timber construction and to develop new production processes that will trigger a paradigm shift.

Self-Shaping Wood – a Piece of High Technology for Takeaway

Another highlight was the raffle of 300 cell phone holders made of self-shaping wood using the anisotropic and hygroscopic characteristics of wood to perform a controlled deformation. In fact, the fibers found in wood have the natural capacity to shrink or expand depending on the surrounding humidity. Wood can therefore change shape at large scales allowing therefore for self-shaping manufacturing processes.

As a research associate at IntCDC, Laura Kiesewetter, Co-founder of Hylo Tech, uses this technology to develop self-shaping furniture, high performance building components and adaptive systems.

For the Stallwächterparty, she designed mobile phone holders that will self-shape after being unwrapped from their vacuum packaging. During the event, a tombola was organized where it was possible for guests to win these phone holders and have a closer interaction with more detailed explanation from the researchers.

"A great evening for us," cluster spokesman Prof. Achim Menges summed up the event. "Our presentation was an impressive showcase of state-of-the-art technology used in timber construction and it enabled us to send a strong message supporting timber construction at this event."

This all happened at the 57th Stallwächterparty - the political summer party of the Baden-Württemberg State Representation in Berlin - around 50 companies and research institutions from Baden-Württemberg presented future technologies under the motto "The Länd - Transformation Innovation Inventions" on July 7, 2022. Among them was the Cluster of Excellence Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture (IntCDC) at the University of Stuttgart. In cooperation with Holzbau-Offensive BW, the platform digitize wood and BEC, IntCDC presented digital planning and production of modern timber construction. The event was attended by approximately1,500 guests from politics, media, culture, the business sector, and the general public.

 

Partners und Sponsors

Cluster of Excellence IntCDC

The University of Stuttgart established the new Cluster of Excellence "Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture" (IntCDC) in 2019. With an initial funding period of seven years, a Cluster of Excellence is the most significant and extensive funding program provided by the German Research Foundation (DFG). For the first time, a cluster of excellence has been awarded in the field of architecture. This will help establish an internationally visible research center.

Holzbau-Offensive BW

Baden-Württemberg is setting an example. With the Holzbau-Offensive, the state government is promoting climate-friendly timber construction. The project includes effective measures and targeted impulses for sustainable development in the construction sector. The goal is to establish Baden-Württemberg as a trendsetter for climate-friendly building culture.

BEC GmbH

BEC is a leading specialist in human-robot collaboration in the fields of industry, medical technology and entertainment. BEC helped with the production of the Robot´s end effector.

Stallwächterparty

Since 1964, the summer party for those who "stand guard" during the parliamentary summer recess has traditionally been held at the Baden-Württemberg State Representation in Berlin. Today, the Stallwächterparty represents the diversity of the state and has become one of the most important communication platforms of the political summer in Berlin. 

Sägewerk Echtle KG

Echtle is specialized in quality wood made from silver fir and spruce. Echtle sponsored the wood material that went to the tables and the roof laths.

Lignotrend

Lignotrend is a medium-sized supplier of cross laminated timber products for timber construction and interior design companies. Lignotrend sponsored the wooden slats used for the tables.

DeSH

The Deutsche Säge- und Holzindustrie Bundesverband sponsored the give-aways -the mobile phone holders.

The Institute for Control Engineering of Machine Tools and Manufacturing Units (ISW), University of Stuttgart

The Institute for Control Engineering of Machine Tools and Manufacturing Units (ISW) of the University of Stuttgart has helped in the design of the end-effector.

Info und registration

Admission: free of charge

Registration: required

Venue: Kurhaus Menzenschwand, Winterhalterweg 1, 79837 St. Blasien

Language: German

Please note: Please bring sturdy shoes and warm clothing for the guided forest walk.

The event has been submitted to the Baden-Württemberg Chamber of Architects for consideration for recognition for continuing education and training.

We will record and publish the event in audio and video for documentation, reporting and evaluation purposes, including on websites and social media. With your registration you agree to this use.

Arrival by car: Free parking is available at the Kurhaus. We recommend that you carpool, as the free parking spaces may not be sufficient.

Arrival by public transport: From Freiburg, take the S1 line to the Aha train station. A bus shuttle can be arranged there if needed. Please indicate your need when registering. We will then get in touch with you.

Registration

Partner

Cluster of Excellence Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture (IntCDC).
The University of Stuttgart established its new Cluster of Excellence on Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture in 2019. With an initial funding period of seven years, a Cluster of Excellence is the most significant and substantial grant awarded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). For the very first time, a Cluster of Excellence has been awarded to the field of Architecture. It will contribute to establishing an internationally visible research center.


About Zentrum Holzbau Schwarzwald

About Zentrum Holzbau Schwarzwald

As a center for innovation and knowledge transfer, the ZHS will bundle regional competencies in the fields of timber construction, forestry, architecture, design, interior design and promote the exchange between research and practice. The practice will be brought together with research institutions and universities to advance timber construction and thus make an important contribution to CO2 savings. It is also about the question of what the forest will look like in the future in times of climate change and how it can guarantee the supply of raw materials. Contacts have already been made with universities in forestry, construction planning and architecture. Regional initiatives such as Naturpark Südschwarzwald, the Black Forest Biosphere Reserve, Klimapartner Oberrhein and many others have also been actively involved in the development of the ZHS. The Forest Research Institute Freiburg has helped to develop the project from the very beginning.

A separate non-profit limited liability company (GmbH) was founded to support the project. Shareholders are the companies Baur WohnFaszination, GUTEX, Holzbau Bruno Kaiser, Holzwarth, Lignotrend and Rothmund Leimholz, the Berufsförderungswerk der Südbadischen Bauwirtschaft, the Verein Bauwerk Schwarzwald, the Sparkasse St. Blasien, the city of St. Blasien and the district of Waldshut.

The use of wood has a long tradition in the Black Forest. Some of the most innovative companies in the industry have their headquarters in the Waldshut district. The focus of the ZHS is on children, pupils and students with their teachers, but also on all companies, craftsmen and craftswomen who deal with the subject of wood. Especially they shall benefit from the offers of the ZHS. An extensive range of further training courses will take the knowledge "into the field".

Contact: Stefan Kudermann, Managing Director Zentrum Holzbau Schwarzwald

Exzellenzcluster Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture (IntCDC) – Die Zukunft der Architektur und des Bauwesens gestalten durch wirklich integrative computergestützte Planung und Konstruktion.