Interactive strut-and-tie modelling

This research develops a novel method for computer-aided equilibrium modeling of structures in early design stages using pin-jointed models and sequential user modeling and automated equilibrium recovery steps using optimization.

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Based on the force density method, an iterative procedure is developed that enables the generation of spatial kinematic pin-jointed structures that are in equilibrium close to a given input geometry, while satisfying additional constraints on both geometry and forces. This method forms the core of an interactive form-finding process that consists of alternating steps of modeling and computational optimization. In each modeling step, the user is able to modify the structure's geometry, topology, external forces, and constraints. In each optimization step, equilibrium is re-established while respecting the user-defined constraints. A prototype has been implemented within an existing CAD software package, and three examples illustrate the use of the presented method, ranging from a playful exploration of surprising shapes to the rationalization of structural geometry. The method allows to intuitively explore the formal freedom of spatial equilibrium shapes with mixed compression and tension forces, within hard, user-defined constraints. In conclusion, it is claimed that by providing interactive equilibrium modeling methods, the design of new, surprising spatial forms with efficient structural behavior is facilitated. 


Lachauer L. and Block P.Interactive Equilibrium Modelling,International Journal of Space Structures,29(1): 25-37,2014 (March).
Lachauer L. and Block P.Compression Support Structures for Slabs,Proceedings of Advances in Architectural Geometry,Hesselgren, L., Sharma, S., Wallner, J., Baldassini, N., Bompas, P. and Raynaud, J. (editors),: 135-146,Springer ViennaParis, France,2012 (September).


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