Autonomous construction systems (ACSs) have become a topic of great interest in recent years in a variety of areas, including design, materials science, architecture, space exploration, natural disaster recover, military operations, and others. Several different approaches have been proposed, the most promising (and so far most widely-applied) one being a large-scale system based on additive manufacturing (or 3-D printing) principles, where a concrete- or foam-based material is extruded in layers to produce a structure. This structure may be used as a basic shell around which a useful building, shelter, bridge, extraterrestrial habitat, or other infrastructure can be built or may be able to produce a full building in one operation. This article extracts information about the the major components, sub-systems, and interfaces in these systems from a broad sampling of published literature and uses this information to propose a quasi-general system architecture and identify design opportunities. These models can be used to drive further research efforts on these systems, assist with more agile implementation, and improve the design of large-scale 3-D printing-based systems. This work is a first step in the development of a reliable general system architecture similar to those used in the design of large-scale military and aerospace systems.

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