Rationalization of Freeform Space-Frame Structures for Fabrication: Reducing variability in the joints

Antiopi Koronaki, Paul Shepherd, Mark Evernden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (SciVal)
271 Downloads (Pure)


In recent years, the application of space-frame structures on large-scale freeform designs has significantly increased, due to their lightweight configuration and the freedom of design they offer. However, this has introduced a level of complexity into their construction, as doubly-curved designs require non-uniform configurations. This paper proposes a novel computational workflow that reduces the construction complexity of freeform space-frame structures, by minimizing variability in its joints. Space-frame joints are evaluated according to their geometry, and clustered for production in compliance with the tolerance requirements of the selected fabrication process. This provides a direct insight into the level of customization required and the associated construction complexity. A subsequent geometry optimization of the space-frame’s depth then minimizes the number of different joint groups required. The variables of the optimization are defined in relation to the structure’s curvature, providing a direct link between the structure’s geometry and the optimization process. Through the application of a control surface, the dimensionality of the design space is drastically reduced, rendering this method applicable to large-scale projects. A case study of an existing structure of complex geometry is presented, and this method achieves a significant reduction in the construction complexity in a robust and computationally efficient way.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-99
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Architectural Computing
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Rationalization of Freeform Space-Frame Structures for Fabrication: Reducing variability in the joints'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this