Design process optimisation and form finding using parametric 3D modelling and simulation tools

W.J.M. Brok, P. Teuffel

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Abstract

The first possibilities for engineers to analyse membrane structures were based on physical modelling; now approximately 60 years later this task is nearly completely overtaken by computer simulations. Through the years the software has improved by using better form finding algorithms, resulting in highly advanced software. Given the growing complexity of lightweight membrane structures and the increasing time pressure to develop projects, one must constantly search for new optimizations. Even while designing lightweight membrane structure is a highly interactive process, there are opportunities to improve the process. This paper deals with the question of how new or already existing software can be used to create a more efficient automated process for standardized lightweight structures. Using new modelling techniques, the form finding can be transformed from a manual to an automated process. The explored process is called "generative modelling", a modelling technique consisting of algorithms based on parameters. This approach is converting the manual design steps in subsequent processing steps using parametric input. This process optimisation using various interconnecting software packages, such as Rhinoceros, Grasshopper, GSA, Formfinder and EASY leads to various design templates and a case study, which will be described within the paper. Further on a review about various form finding and analysis methods has been carried out and will be presented as well.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the [Re]Thinking Lightweight Structures TENSINET Symposium 2013, 8-10 May 2013, Istanbul, Turkey
Pages169-178
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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