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Free-form masonry scale models

Thrust Network Analysis (TNA) is an innovative approach for exploring three-dimensional funicular networks. Through the control of reciprocal force diagrams, which relate form and forces, new unexpected forms for compression-only shells become possible. This research project is pushing which surprising compression forms can be obtained with TNA, demonstrating how the approach gives the designer the power to start exploiting structurally indeterminacy of three-dimensional funicular systems. Thanks to recent advances in TNA (see: Form Finding to Fabrication), which integrate the interactive structural form finding process with geometric and fabrication constraints into a smooth digital chain, discrete 3D-printed scale models can easily be produced. Unglued "masonry" scale models serve as convincing first validations of the capabilities of this novel approach.

Publications

Block P., Lachauer L. and Rippmann M.Thrust Network Analysis - Design of a cut-stone masonry vault,Shell Structures for Architecture: Form Finding and Optimization,Adriaenssens, S., Block, P., Veenendaal, D. and Williams, C. (editors),Routledge,London,2014.
Rippmann M. and Block P.Rethinking Structural Masonry: Unreinforced, Stone-cut Shells,Proceedings of the ICE - Construction Materials,166(6): 378-389,2013.
Deuss M., Panozzo D., Whiting E., Liu Y., Block P., Hornung-Sorkine O. and Pauly M.Assembling Self-Supporting Structures,ACM Transactions on Graphics - SIGGRAPH Asia 2014,33(6): 214:1-214:10,2014.
Panozzo D., Block P. and Sorkine-Hornung O.Designing Unreinforced Masonry Models,ACM Transactions on Graphics - SIGGRAPH 2013,32(4): 91:1-91:12,2013 (July).
Lachauer L., Rippmann M. and Block P.Form Finding to Fabrication: A digital design process for masonry vaults,Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures Symposium 2010,Shanghai, China,2010 (11).
Block P., Lachauer L. and Rippmann M.Validating Thrust Network Analysis using 3D-printed, structural models,Proceedings of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures Symposium 2010,Shanghai, China,2010 (11).
ETH ZurichDARCHITA

 

ETH Zurich
Institute of Technology in Architecture
Block Research Group
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paulson@arch.ethz.ch
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