Clay 3D Printing

How can clay 3D printing be developed to be more efficient and practical for built environment construction?

Development of clay 3D printing techniques that provide viable fabrication options for the built environment.

The Clay 3D Printing project is an ongoing project that aims to develop more advanced clay 3D printing capabilities. It looks to improve the options researchers and students have to undertake large scale clay 3D printed constructions and make such processes feasible. Specifically, the project has so far developed a stronger and faster clay extruder than existing solutions, allowing for much faster printing with more robust materials. Currently, the project is looking at developing a new clay formulation that is more suitable for the process, minimises shrinkage and warpage in the firing process, and provides increased dry and fired strength. It is also looking at automating the fabrication element to make larger constructions logistically possible and reduce the human resources needed. Finally, the implementation of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence is intended to improve the output quality and supplement the automation aspect.

Designers and Architects are taking advantage of additive manufacturing, robotics, and machine learning/AI's possibilities. We seek to enable these possibilities for advanced masonry construction while also improving the economic suitability of the processes involved. The project also looks at design techniques that work well with the process and produce the desired results.


Chan, S. S. L., Pennings, R. M., Edwards, L., & Franks, G. V. (2020). 3D printing of clay for decorative architectural applications: Effect of solids volume fraction on rheology and printability. Additive Manufacturing, 35.

Project Contact:

Ryan Pennings, Coordinator, MSD Robotics Lab
Lewis Edwards, Lead Technician, MSD Robotics Lab

ExLab: Robotic Clay 3D Printing – Semester 2, 2019 Cynthia Lai, Nan Li, Yanxiang Yang, Shengran Zheng, Qiutong Zhang
ExLab: Robotic Clay 3D Printing – Semester 2, 2019 Bianca Censori, James Gledhill, Richen Jin, Donovan Ong
R_Lab: Made by Robots – Summer Semester, 2021 Hongrun Che, Zijian Cheng, Jiaqi Fu, Tze Way Ng, Louis O’Connor