The Postgraduate in 3D Printing Architecture is a 6-month long intensive programme in the field of additive manufacturing of sustainable architecture. Between the use of advanced technology for construction and the desire to develop a holistic design approach to architecture, we engage with different areas of research that include robotic manufacturing, material research and performance-based design. The programme seeks to develop technological and architectural solutions in collaboration with Industry partners to answer the current needs and challenges of our habitat. 

Applications are now open for the academic year 2023-24!

The Postgraduate in 3D Printing Architecture is a programme of applied research. Rather than imagining an architecture for a long-term future, our aim is to apply state of the art technology to today’s construction paradigm. It is axed around the continuity of the development of a body of research long explored in the Institute together with our industry partners.

The course runs as a partially collective programme with a mixed group of researchers of IAAC’s Master second years and other specialised students with interest in 3d printing, in eco-friendly material research or in the field of housing. The course is structured in 3 phases: explorations, a series of exercises to gain knowledge into the topic followed by a design charrette and the construction of a 1:1 prototype that ambitions to be as close a possible to a real building fragment.

Degree Postgraduate Diploma in Open Thesis Fabrication by School of Professional and Executive Development at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia – European Higher Education Area (EHEA)
Edition 10th edition
Credits 45 ECTS
Duration 6 months – September 2022 to February 2023 – Full Time
Language English
Tuition Fee Non-EU: 9.500€
EU: 7.600€
Discount for PhD in related research fields
Admissions Engineering, Design or Architecture degree, Bachelor or higher degree from other related professions, PhD candidates in applied research fields.

The content of the course is structured into 3 areas of research:

STUDIO – Design and Architecture

3D printing, a digital technology, challenges a conventional design approach and requires the elaboration of new strategies partially based on the use of computation.

We develop a performance-based approach to design for 3D printed architectural solutions. Within the realms of a design project for a complex humanitarian situation, the design of buildings is the result of a complex negotiation between fulfilling climatic, structural, manufacturing and habitation purposes.

TECHNE – Robotic and Computational Technology

TECHNE research consist of an experimental and hands-on approach to Additive Manufacturing with robots. Eco-friendly material printing resides in the control of robotic technology and the mastering of its complex materiality. The program rests on a series of intensive Tecne workshops during which specific questions related to structure or climatic performance are addressed by a quick back and forth between 3D modelling, printing and analysis of the solutions.

MATTER – Matter and Craft

MATTER research is an intuitive and scientific approach to research. This is the occasion to develop knowledge in the field of eco-friendly materials such as clay, a material that has been used in construction for millennials and of which a lot of knowledge has been lost since the over-dominance of concrete in the construction industry.

Driven by a material expert, this phase of the work starts by a tactile and intuitive to material mixing, and concludes by the elaboration calibrated and customised material mix for 3D printing


Each participant will get intensive experience in large-scale 3D printing and gain the necessary knowledge that accompanies it:

  • Digital Fabrication: Robotic Fabrication, 3D printers, Extrusion technologies, Sensors
  • Digital tools: 3D modelling, parametric modelling, digital simulation, production of g-code.
  • Material research: empirical and scientific methodology in development and testing of new materials.
  • Design methodology to provide architectural and constructive solutions for additive relating design to performance.
  • Holistic strategy to provide architectural solutions that consider all aspects of construction: material, energy, economy, manufacturing, policies, users, design, climate, structure.

In past editions, the OTF programme has been the ground for collaborations with industrial partners such as the Basque research centre Tecnalia, ceramist expert Ceràmica Cumella, structural engineers Windmill. We have also been working with UN Habitat program on the development of architectural solutions for humanitarian situations.  


The programme is divided into three phases:

Phase 1 – Exploration

This 3 months long phase emphasises on the development of knowledge in the 3 above-mentioned research areas: material, 3D printing and design methodology. This phase sees the students work in small groups in short intense exercises and experiments.


Phase 2 – Prototype Design Charrette

The second phase is a collective design charette in which the group capitalises on all the learning of phase 1 in order to develop a design proposal for a 1:1 prototype as a building fragment.


Phase 3 – Prototype Construction

The third phase sees the group engage with the construction of a large prototype at 1:1 Scale. In parallel, the group will document and compile the research into a collective thesis printed document.


The Postgraduate in 3D Printing Architecture is aimed at architects, engineers, designers, material engineers, mechanical engineers. The course aims to specialise these people to address a new reality in construction, architecture, and the fields that relate to it, in which new technologies will largely affect the way we think and build.

After completing the Postgraduate in 3D Printing Architecture, the students will be apt to work within the fields of architecture and engineering providing expertise and knowledge in topics such as robotic construction, additive manufacturing, parametric design. They are also encouraged and apt to further their career within the realm of non-governmental organisations that develop housing projects in problematic humanitarian situations.

Once successfully finished, IAAC students will then join the IAAC Alumni Community, an active and dynamic network of visionary professionals spread around the world, promoting principles and applications of Advanced Architecture and exploring new academic and research initiatives, leading to award-winning practices or working for internationally acclaimed firms and institutions.


Before reading the project proposal of the Scholarship Competition 2019 for the Open Thesis Fabrication (OTF) programme, please read the general requirements and main guidelines to be followed in order to make sure that you are an eligible candidate to participate:



It is now commonly acknowledged that 3d printing is a technology that will dominate the construction industry in the coming years. While technology is in constant development it seems that the form of the architecture that will emerge is still undefined.

The Open Thesis Fabrication focuses on the use of natural materials and additive manufacturing in architecture and attempts to invent new built forms for this new realm. The launch of this call for a full scholarship takes the form of a question to which you are asked to provide your own answer.  For the OTF Scholarship Competition, we invite participants to answer the following question: What is your vision for a 3D printed architecture?


Required material

  1. Submit a single A4 sheet that can contain any type of information (text, drawings, sketches, renderings, diagrams, references…) with the aim of answering the question posed for the competition.

To apply the candidates should fill up the Scholarship Application Form at this link and upload their projects in there.



Start and end dates to be released soon.


Building Architecture Continuity

The 2019 Open Thesis Fabrication (OTF) research aims at achieving a sustainable and structurally stable construction system using km-0 robotic additive manufacturing. Building Architecture Continuity employs…

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Digital Adobe

Digital Adobe is an innovative research agenda oriented to producing architectural solutions with natural materials and additive manufacturing or 3d printing. The technology, developed in…

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TerraPerforma - 3D Printed Performative Wall The project TerraPerforma focuses on large scale 3D printing, the influence of additive manufacturing on building with a traditional material…

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Digital Urban Orchard – OTF 2015/16

Digital Urban Orchard is a research project of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, realized as part of the Open Thesis Fabrication 2015/16. The pavilion is the prototype of…

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Fusta Robòtica – OTF 2015

Fusta Robòtica is a research project realized as part of the Open Thesis Fabrication 2015. IaaC OTF 2015 Fusta Robòtica is an experimental project that…

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The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), based in Barcelona, has, for some time now, been exploring and investigating the potentials of additive manufacturing…

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Edouard Cabay
Alexandre Dubor

Lili Tayefi

Internal Faculty:
Vincent Huyghe, Technology Expert
Ashkan Foroughi, Computational Expert
Eduardo Chamorro Martin, Machine Expert
Elisabetta Carnevale, Matter Expert
Guillem Baraut, Structural Expert
Gloria Font basté, Climatic Expert
Nikol Kirova, Geopolymer Expert

Faculty Assistants:
Francesco Poliv
Bruno Ganem Coutinho
Marielena Papandreou
David Skaroupka

Colette, philanthropic organization
3D WASP, Large Scale 3D printing
UN-Habitat, Humanitarian scenarios
BAC Engineering, Structural Consultant
LaSalle, Climat consultant
SmartCitizen,  Sensor Monitoring
Josep Alcover Llubia, Squares

Adel Alatassi, Aslinur Taskin, Charles Musyoki, Deena Hassanin, Eugene Marais, Hendrik Masjosthusmann, Juliana Rodriguez Torres, Leonardo Bin, Mariam Arwa Al-Hachami, Marwa Abdelrahim, Mehdi Harrak, Michelle Bezik, Michelle Antonietta Isoldi Campinho, Mouad Laalou, Nareh Khaloian Sarnaghi, Nawaal Saksouk, Orestis Pavlidis, Seni BoniDara

Special thanks:
Areti Markopoulou, Mathilde Marengo, Ricardo Mayor, Shyam Zonca, Pilar Xiquez, Ariannet Arias, Gabriel Frederick, Nicolas Rodriguez, Daniela Figueroa Claros, Laura Ruggeri, Xavier Molons, Jorge Ramirez, Jordi Guizán Bedoya

3DPA Co-director / MAA Faculty / MaCT Studio Faculty

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MRAC Director / OTF Co-director / MAA, 3DPA Faculty / Robotic Expert

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3dPA, MRAC & MAA Faculty Assistant / Computational Design Expert

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3DPA Coordinator

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Co-Mida Project Manager / 3DPA Faculty

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3dPA guest Faculty, La Salle

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3dPA guest Faculty, BAC

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