In this paper, possibilities and challenges of novel robotic manufacturing processes for segmented timber shells are presented and evaluated. This is achieved by comparing two newly developed construction systems for segmented plate structures: one system consisting of cross-laminated timber elements that are connected with crossing screws, and one system consisting of light-weight, hollow components with finger joints as well as bolted connections. Segmented timber shells are introduced as an emerging structural typology transitioning from applied research to the building industry, enabled by new developments in computational design and digital fabrication methods. Although the two construction systems share their underlying segmentation strategy, they differ in their joint design approach and ensuing fabrication complexity. While the first construction system can be produced with conventional machining technology in the timber industry, the second system was developed in conjunction with innovative robotic manufacturing methods. In order to evaluate the relationships and trade-offs of fabrication complexity and performance, the two systems are compared on a range of metrics, including material use, environmental impact and costs.