Zahner Invents

Zahner Labs

Zahner invites our design and fabrication partners from around the world to take a closer look at some of our latest new product ideas, provide feedback, and be part of the Zahner Labs process. We design, build, test and analyze in a series of short sprints that enable fast iterations. New designs pass through stage gate evaluations that become progressively more rigorous, going from prototype, to field testing, to full-scale market launch and commercialization.

We believe that innovation and collaboration can thrive with sound methods and great teams. Welcome to Zahner Labs.

R&D Review

Labs Report 003

Over the past year our Labs team has been exploring ways to extend the computational intelligence of our design and engineering software into the assembly space. Using human-robot collaborative workflows, we’re innovating new methods of direct-delivery of 3D position in shop and field.

Playful Exploration


Assembling a coherent material palette from the vast ecosystem of possible architectural materials can present a monumental challenge for designers. In thinking about how to make material exploration more effortless—and even fun—we built a simple web tool to assist with material selection and comparison.

Optimizing Concept Iteration

Dynamic Design and Feasibility Workflow

Balancing design parameters, cost, and quality on complex projects is a non-trivial task. Through collaboration with Perkins&Will, the Labs team identified improvements to project workflows between architects and fabricators that benefit all stakeholders.

R&D Review

Labs Report 002

The Zahner Labs team has spent the last 6 months working in the field. They have deployed two new technologies — SurveyLink and an Automated Survey and Layout Robot — addressing challenges faced during the construction of complex buildings on real projects with real stakeholders.

Surface Innovations

New Zinc Concepts

As part of our work in Zahner Labs, we seek collaboration with our industry partners in taking innovations from concept to application. Be part of the process, and let us know what you think of our latest zinc finishes.

Field Installation Simplified


SurveyLink is a new tool from Zahner Labs that provides on-site data streamed directly from Total Station to a web-based, collaborative 3D model.

Living finishes, reimagined

Precision Patina

Robot-Applied Precision Patina combines Zahner’s expertise in patination and the application of imagery to metal with the precise control of robotics. The results are patterns full of life and variation, rendered with the durability and integrity of patination.

R&D Review

Labs Report 001

Over the past several months we have released three new concepts, starting points in the process of developing new approaches. The concept phase is challenging, as it’s difficult to know what is useful. View the first in a series of reports on what we’ve found through our explorations.

Punch Press Power

Bead Rolling

Cut, punch, mark, form, slice, texturize, and roll. The CNC punch press is an architect’s dream tool for digital fabrication. Explore a few of the ways wheel forming can be used to stiffen panels—and create innovative designs and material effects.

3D Perforated Panels

Louver Surface

Louver Surface is a product prototype for a new category of perforated metal panel that features robotically bent tabs and louvers, providing custom transparency, articulation, and open-air values.

Video Freeform Robotic Polishing
Video Robot Assisted Welding
Video Robotic Wheeling