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Digital Design & Production | IoA Institute of Architecture | University of Applied Arts Vienna

Machining PRAXIS in Architecture I

Afshin Koupaei
Architecture, Digital Production
scientific seminar (SEW), 2.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S04297

link on the Angewandte Base : Machining PRAXIS in Architecture 1 | base Angewandte (

End of semester presentations WS 2022/23 - Guest reviewer - Alex Karaivanov
End of semester presentations WS 2022/23 – Guest reviewer – Alex Karaivanov


This course will explore the applications of Computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines and machining technologies in architectural design and making.
The course will cover special techniques of machining and processes of assembly. Students will learn how to choose the appropriate materials and machining tools in order to acquire the required quality/accuracy.
The first section of each session will be a Lecture/Tutorial and the second will be a making/practicing experience. 

The course will cover the following objectives:
– The process of making, from CAD to CAM to Machining
– Machining strategies
– Materials for machining
– Machining tools
– Architectural Manufacturing through machining
– 2 Axis and 3 Axis machining (file making, utilizing machines)
– Precision tolerances in machining
– Collaborative machining and manufacturing
– Safety regulations of machining

Examination Modalities

The final project of this course is a collaborative installation that consists of several units/modules. Each unit/module of this installation will be assigned to one student for production. The main design/shape of the installation and the joinery details of the installation will be provided for the students. 

Students will be individually responsible for the design modification, G-CODE preparation, and machining of their assigned unit/module in order to improve their skills as well as prove their proficiency at machining.

Active participation in the course and taking part in the in-course assignments is necessary.

End of semester presentations WS 2022/23 - Guest reviewer - AAlex Karaivanov
End of semester presentations WS 2022/23 – Guest reviewer – Alex Karaivanov

– It is highly recommended for students to take this course during one of their first four semesters.

– This course is compulsory for those who want to become  a Milling Assistant/Tutor at one of the Architecture Studios of the IOA (Studio 1,2,3)

– If you are a student from disciplines other than Architecture and wish to participate in this course, please write me an e-mail in advance ( and we will evaluate the chances you may be able to participate.

Requirements :

– Participants are required to bring their own laptops/computers (co-working or two students on one laptop is not an option). This Laptop/Workstation needs to be present at the location of the course with the participant as they are required to make files during the course hours.

– Participants should have a Microsoft Windows installed on their computers ( Plug-in requirements )

– Participants should be familiar with Rhino and be able to deal with basic 3D modeling tasks in Rhino. 


Session 1: KICK-OFF

Introductory meetup; the goal of this session is to discuss the semester’s program, knowledge exchange between students and the instructor, to define the requirements/prerequisites of the course. Additionally, there will be a lecture on Digital Design and fabrication: Machines and materials.

In this session, we will agree on om the schedule of the semester and we set the workshop days for the semester. 

Session 2 – [8 hours] – One-day workshop
Part I – [Lecture-Intro] CNC Machines and related fabrication methodologies
Part II – [Lecture-Intro] Dive into the G-CODE, Making files for CNC machines
Part III – [Lecture-Intro] Subtractive Fabrication methodologies, Introduction, and File making.
Part IV – [Workshop] Working on the first assignment of the course.
Session 3– [8 hours] – One-day workshop
Part I – [Lecture-Intro] Advanced topics in machining
Part II – [Lecture-Intro] Using the milling machine/ Safety regulations
Part III – [RoundTable] Discussion about the second assignment and the final collaborative project
Part IV – [Workshop] Making files for the second assignment and using the machine to fabricate the pieces for the second assignment

Session 4– [8 hours] – One-day workshop – at least two weeks after the first 2 sessions 
Part I – [Workshop] Preparing files for the collaborative project and resolving material/manufacturing issues.
Part II – [Workshop] Preparing manufacturing documents and installation guides for the collaborative project.

Semester Activity for Students
Students will separately use the machine during the semester to fabricate their specific parts for the collaborative Installation.

Session 5– [8 hours] – Installation Day
This will be one Saturday at the end of the semester and after the diploma presentations.

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