Manufacturing Process / Formwork


The panels are manufactured using the following approach:

  1. Standard panels to suit the majority of the façade are created using a standard formwork approach where generic shapes and sizes are created from existing machinery, equipment and methods,
  2. 3D printing coupled with 3D laser scanning is used to create customised panels which fit exactly to the existing building, and can take into account windows and junctions for example,
  3. Reconfigurable Moulding is employed to product customised shapes where a curved or irregular surface is required or where an aesthetic finish is desired and
  4. 3D printed coatings is applied to the panel to provide an aesthetic finish to match the building to its surroundings, along with other surface enhancements.


3D printing coupled with 3D laser scanning

The activities set up a new design-to-production solution for façade elements of new and renovated buildings based on an integrated approach, encompassing: 3D printing technology, computational modelling, performance design, shape/material optimization and numerical manufacturing.

In addition, the microstructured approach integrated with the hybrid polyurethane panel to improve thermal performance and light radiation takes advantage of the 3D printing technology to allow for these panels to be created without a dramatic increase in construction costs but with the potential to significantly improve performance.


Reconfigurable Moulding

Reconfigurable Moulding coupled with 3D printing technologies is proposed in order to cover all possible shapes and aesthetic issues (such as: windows, doors, balconies, ledges, cornices, decorations, etc.) that need to be produced to renovate buildings.

Reconfigurable moulding is used for producing a curved formwork surface, while 3D printing is used for producing small counter-moulds for particulars and details.


3D Printed Coatings for Aesthetic Finish

IMPRESS developed:

  1. a generic coating to be suitable in most 3d printing substrates and
  2. a coating that can be incorporated in the process of 3D printing equipment maintaining all the enhanced properties that could be achieved with the use of nano-particles.

The proposed insulating coating suitable for 3D printing combines a mix of natural micronized flaky surface treated new alumino-silicate particles and micronized and submicron fibrous calcium-silicate particles, materials that provides to the coating very good thermal insulation behaviour, anti-corrosion resistance, high mechanical strength, improved solar reflectance, improved ageing resistance and anti-vandalism properties.