Closest-Fit, Compression-Only Solutions for Free Form Shells

Block P. and Lachauer L.
Proceedings of the IABSE-IASS Symposium 2011
London, UK

This paper introduces a powerful computational design and analysis method for shells, based on funicular networks. Based on Thrust Network Analysis, an optimization approach is presented, which finds the closest fit, compression-only solution to an arbitrary input surface for given network topologies,. This research offers new possibilities for the design of efficient, but exciting shells which start to visually blur the forms which have been associated to compression-only and freeform shell. Furthermore, this method provides the foundation for a fully three-dimensional equilibrium analysis method for historic masonry vaults with complex geometries. The paper gives new insight in the force dependencies in 3D funicular networks, which serve as a basis for the nonlinear solving procedure presented. Through several examples, the power of this novel research is demonstrated.


    author    = "Block, P. and Lachauer, L.",
    title     = "Closest-Fit, Compression-Only Solutions for Free Form Shells",
    booktitle = "Proceedings of the IABSE-IASS Symposium 2011",
    year      = "2011",
    editor    = "",
    volume    = "",
    number    = "",
    pages     = "",
    publisher = "",
    address   = "London, UK",
    month     = "September",
    doi       = "",
    note      = "",

Related publications

Block P. and Lachauer L.Three-dimensional Funicular Analysis of Masonry Vaults,Mechanics Research Communications,56: 53-60,2014.
Van Mele T., Panozzo D., Sorkine-Hornung O. and Block P.Best-fit Thrust Network Analysis - Rationalization of freeform meshes,Shell Structures for Architecture: Form Finding and Optimization,Adriaenssens, S., Block, P., Veenendaal, D. and Williams, C. (editors),Routledge,London,2014.


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