Foster and Partners are an award-winning British architectural design and engineering firm who put an innovative, modern and sustainable approach at the heart of their designs. They are an international practice with a worldwide reputation for outstanding design.


Central to the ethos of Foster and Partners is their appetite for research and discovery. They are committed to analysis and ensuring that they are up to date with new techniques in order to thoroughly evaluate their proposals and technical performance on every project. To that end they have dedicated research and specialist modelling groups within the organisation. To be able to fully assess each project in depth, a requirement was needed for an in-house automated robotic system to undertake detailed model making.


CNC Robotics worked with Foster and Partners for over 2 years to ensure the full specification of the solution provided covered all of their needs.  The 8-axis robotic system enables a wide variety of materials to be modelled using CAD and PowerMill software to create highly accurate and detailed prototype models in a very short timescale.  Combining this robotic system with design tools means that a new aesthetic becomes possible with new innovative shapes and patterns that would not be achieved without these automated machines.


The robotic system implemented allows for reduced scale models and maquettes to be built, along with street scenes and cityscapes that have intricate architectural features and the ability for projection mapping to demonstrate the scheme to clients. The system allows the team to work on complex geometrical modelling and fabrication strategies inhouse and not have to outsource the model making to third parties, thereby having complete control and confidentiality about up and coming projects.

The robot is a more efficient process that reduces time and costs of construction.

“For years, robots have been employed by industrial manufacturers, but not until recently have they been seriously considered by architects. The benefit for architects in this digital age is the opportunity to be at the cutting edge of research technologies”

Jason Barker     CNC Robotics

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