Self-forming Cylindrical Wood Components for Sustainable Lightweight Structures

2022-2024 | Research Projects
Forschungsinitiative Zukunft Bau (BBSR)

Institute for Computational Design and Construction (Prof. Achim Menges)
Institut für Forstnutzung und Forsttechnik, Technische Universität Dresden (Prof. Dr. Markus Rüggeberg)

Self-forming Cylindrical Wood Components for Sustainable Lightweight Structures

This project investigates how a manufacturing process using self-shaping can be effectively used for the sustainable production of cylindrical, high-performance wood components. The applicants have intensively researched the self-forming of wood and successfully tested it industrially for radii >2.3m. This novel manufacturing process for curved wood components replaces mechanical, energy- and cost-intensive forming processes and instead uses the change in shape of the material due to shrinkage during drying. The self-shaping behavior can be reliably simulated and also allows significantly smaller bending radii with the same lamella thickness than conventional processes. In addition it reduces elastic spring back and can we designed for optimal fiber orientation in load bearing components.

The project is investigating the structural application possibilities, static performance and ecological balance of self-shaped cylindrical wooden components. Due to their geometric stiffness, these components are particularly efficient and efficient and material-saving (e.g. barrel vaults, ribbed ceilings, tubular structures, columns, masts, etc.). The possibility to execute such components in wood allows both the substitution of otherwise common building materials, all of which are characterized by significantly higher embodied energy and C0² emissions, as well as to open up new constructional possibilities for the sustainable building material wood.


ICD - Institute for Computational Design and Construction, University of Stuttgart

Laura Kiesewetter, Dr. -Ing. Dylan Wood, Prof. A. Menges

IFF - Institute for Forest Utilization and Forest Technology, Technical University of Dresden

Prof. Dr. Markus Rüggeberg


Asst. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dylan Wood


Blumer Lehmann AG


BBSR - Bundesinstitut für Bau- Stadt- und Raumforschung im Bundesamt für Bauwesen und Raumordnung - Innovationsprogramm Zukunft Bau


Wood, D.: 2021: Material programming for fabrication : integrative computational design for self-shaping curved wood building components in architecture. ICD Research Report No. 6, Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart. (

Contact information


Institute for Computational Design and Construction

University of Stuttgart, Keplerstraße 11, 70174 Stuttgart

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