Robotics and computer-aided manufacturing in the design program for new digital buildings

Robotics and computer-aided manufacturing in the design program for new digital buildings

© Stefano Borghi

After having radically transformed the world of design and production in sectors such as automotive and aerospace, robotics is now entering the construction sector. This is why the École des Ponts ParisTech, a major French engineering school founded in 1747, preparing future leaders, civil engineers and researchers, has developed a new training course.

Currently being recruited, the Executive Master in Digital Building Design (known as the Specialized Master® in France) provides participants with an interdisciplinary culture of computational design and in-depth knowledge of cutting-edge technologies in the fields of parametric architecture, advanced geometry, robotics and digital manufacturing for the construction industry . The program is designed for a select group of architects, engineers, designers and digital artists and offers a variety of courses, fabrication and prototyping workshops, lectures, digital talks and events of networking. It is a real opportunity to enter an international ecosystem of architectural innovation.

The main objectives of the DBD Executive Master are to provide participants with a solid knowledge of parametric generative design and computer-aided manufacturing, to give students a wide range of expertise to take advantage of digital manufacturing technologies (3D printing, robotics, CNC prototyping, etc.) and finally encouraging a process-oriented approach to design, based on optimization approaches and the use of environmental data in architecture.

© Stefano Borghi
© Stefano Borghi

At the end of the 16-month course, graduates have the know-how to innovate their design workflow using a computational and collaborative approach to architecture and engineering. The cohort includes project managers, computer designers, facade consultants, structural engineers expert in complex geometry, design directors, interaction designers, robot and drone designers.


The program requires an architect or master’s degree as well as professional experience with a good knowledge of 3D modeling.

Another option for architects or corporate employees is to select an innovative 5-week module combining construction robotics with computer-aided manufacturing or computer-aided design. The objective is to have a complete understanding of digital design or robotic manufacturing tools and to design or build non-standard objects and complex geometries.

© Stefano Borghi
© Stefano Borghi

Computer-aided manufacturing includes workshops on large-scale 3D printing, cutting-edge technology involving robotics, materials design, and building systems innovation. Digital wood manufacturing, discrete assembly – which is particularly relevant in a context of ecological crisis where reuse becomes a necessity – and quality control using digital tools such as six-axis robots, laser scanning, photogrammetry and artificial vision are also studied in depth.

© Stefano Borghi
© Stefano Borghi

On the other hand, the computer-assisted elective focuses on advanced architectural geometry, a discipline at the intersection of engineering, architecture, and discrete differential geometry. It includes courses on using the latest advances in machine learning in the construction industry, multi-criteria environmental optimization and, last but not least, pattern finding, a module exploring the concepts and algorithms of research of structural forms, in particular for funicular structures (eg force density method), bending structures (eg grids) as well as semi-continuous methods (iso-geometric analysis).

At École des Ponts ParisTech, students have access to makerspaces, robots such as 3D printers, professors, researchers from the renowned Navier laboratory and experts in the field.

Upon completion of this course, students will have a general understanding of the implications of this advanced technology in construction and design to make informed decisions for projects that require the use of robotic processes.


For more information and to apply, visit the Digital Building Design website of École des Ponts ParisTech, or its LinkedIn profile. Applications are open and the final selection committee arrives. Submit your application by June 30 to be considered.

© Stefano Borghi
© Stefano Borghi

A makerspace open day is scheduled for May 17and at noon on the École des Ponts ParisTech campus: 6 ave Blaise Pascal – Cité Descartes – Champs-sur-Marne, France.
RSVP: info-ms@enpc.fr

More information available at the links below:
https://www.ecoledesponts.fr/en/executive-master-dbd
https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/masters-specialties-schooldesponts

Abdul J. Gaspar