Grid shells are efficient structural systems covering large open spaces with relatively small amount of materials. Also, post forming techniques allow realization of geometrically complex (free-form) shapes by means of standard connection systems. However, due to complexity of the analysis–design process, they are rarely utilized in construction design. In this paper, a ‘facilitating’ numerical framework is introduced in which, for a given continuous reference shape, a geometrically similar discrete model is found by implementation of a six degree of freedom formulation of the Dynamic Relaxation method, to handle members bending and torsional stiffness. A grid cutting pattern algorithm is introduced, as well as methods to numerically simulate the double-layer construction technique and a novel (single-node) cylindrical joint model. The methods are extensively tested and validated on a range of structures, from ‘simple’ single-rod cases to more complex, actively bent, grid shell frameworks.
D’Amico, B., Kermani, A., & Zhang, H. (2014). Form finding and structural analysis of actively bent timber grid shells. Engineering Structures, 81, 195-207. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.engstruct.2014.09.043