Stiffness of planar tensegrity truss topologies

A.G. Jager, de, R.E. Skelton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


This paper proposes and demonstrates a symbolic procedureto compute the stiffness of truss structures built up fromsimple basic units.Geometrical design parameters enter in this computation.A set of equations linear in the degrees-of-freedom, butnonlinear in the design parameters, is solved symbolicallyin its entirety.The resulting expressions reveal the values of the design parameters whichyield desirable properties for the stiffness or stiffness-to-mass ratio.By enumerating a set of topologies, including the number ofbasic units, and a set of material distribution models,stiffness properties are optimized over these sets.This procedure is applied to a planar tensegrity truss.The results make it possible to optimize the structurewith respect to stiffness properties, not only by appropriatelyselecting (continuous) design parameters like geometric dimensions,but also by selecting an appropriate topology for the structure,e.g., the number of basic units, and a material distribution model,all of which are discrete design decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1308-1330
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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