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Form Finding to Fabrication: A digital design process for masonry vaults

Lachauer L., Rippmann M. and Block P.
Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures Symposium 2010
Shanghai, China
2010

It is common practice in engineering to represent a continuous stress field by a network of discrete forces, e.g. hanging models (Gaudí), cable nets (Otto) or strut-andtie models (Schlaich) . These discrete force networks allow the user to visualize, grasp and control the flow of forces in an intuitive manner. A recent computational advance in this field is Thrust Network Analysis (TNA), which allows form finding controlled through discrete force diagrams. In this paper, a fully digital design process –from form finding to fabrication– for compression-only masonry shells will be presented. The challenge is to provide a smooth and efficient generation of different data representations of the discrete geometry of the force (or thrust) network for the use in structural and experimental modelling, discrete element modelling (DEM) software, or fabrication. The TNA method has been implemented in existing CAD software, offering fully interactive control of the boundary conditions, the internal stress field and the weight distribution of the shell. The discrete thrust network is linked to a NURBS surface to derive continuous geometric information, hence allowing the automatic generation of the shell volume according to its self weight.

BibTeX

@inproceedings{Lachauer2010,
    author    = "Lachauer, L. and Rippmann, M. and Block, P.",
    title     = "Form Finding to Fabrication: A digital design process for masonry vaults",
    booktitle = "Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures Symposium 2010",
    year      = "2010",
    editor    = "",
    volume    = "",
    number    = "",
    pages     = "",
    publisher = "",
    address   = "Shanghai, China",
    month     = "11",
    doi       = "",
    note      = "",
}

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