A grid generation procedure for the design of single-layer freeform structures

Jun Ye, Boqing Gao, Paul Shepherd, Jurgen Becque, Iman Hajirasouliha

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Computer aided design software enables the rapid creation of any curved surface geometry, whereas it is neither a convenient nor an obvious task for engineers to efficiently create a discrete grid structure on a complex surface that also meets architectural requirements. This emphasizes the importance of grid generating tools and methods in the initial design stage. This paper presents an efficient design tool for the synthesis of free-form grid structures based on the concept of a “guide line”. The process starts with defining a limited number of curves (named the “guide lines”) on the surface, which are then used to determine the directions of the ‘rods’ of the grid. Two variations of this concept are introduced in the paper: the ‘Guide Line Scaling Method’ (GSM) and the ‘Two Guide Lines with Two End Vertices Method’ (2G2VM). Case studies on the British Museum Court Roof are provided which illustrate the successful execution of these procedures. The results show that the free-form grid structures generated with the proposed methods feature a regular shape and fluent lines, thereby satisfying aesthetic requirements. These two methods have been programmed into the software ZDMesher, enabling rapid grid generation for structural design purposes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2017
EventIASS Annual Symposium 2017: Interface: architecture, engineering, science - Hamburg, Germany
Duration: 25 Sept 201727 Sept 2017


ConferenceIASS Annual Symposium 2017


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