Masonry scale-model testing table

This research project introduces 3D-printed structural models for exploring equilibrium (i.e. bending-free) structures. It will further the fields of safety assessment of historic vaulted structures in unreinforced masonry and the design of novel but efficient shells out of discrete elements. The project is developing a state-of-the-art testing laboratory at ETH Zurich for structural testing of complex assemblies of discrete elements using rapid prototyping and digital fabrication technologies.


Van Mele T., McInerney J., DeJong M. and Block P.Physical and Computational Discrete Modeling of Masonry Vault Collapse,Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions,Wroclaw, Poland,2012 (October).
Block P., Lachauer L. and Rippmann M.Validating Thrust Network Analysis using 3D-printed, structural models,Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures Symposium 2010,Shanghai, China,2010 (11).


ETH Zurich
Institute of Technology in Architecture
Block Research Group
Stefano-Franscini-Platz 1, HIB E 45
8093 Zurich, Switzerland

+41 44 633 38 35  phone
+41 44 633 10 53  fax

Copyright © 2009-2024 Block Research Group, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.