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A form finding method for post formed timber grid shell structures.

D'Amico, Bernardino; Kermani, Abdy; Zhang, Hexin


Abdy Kermani


Timber grid shells provide efficient ways of covering large openings with relatively small amount of materials. With three-dimensional CAD software, it is now possible to model a free-form surface and discretize it in smaller straight elements, thus postponing the design of the node-connections geometry to the manufacturing process (i.e. by Computer-Aided-Manufacturing). A "low-tech" method for building free-form timber grid shell structures with standardized connections is that of assembling an initially flat grid of continuous rods and then, post-forming (bending) it in a double curved shape. Accordingly, the latter method doesn't require high-tech manufacturing processes. However, being the final shape influenced by equilibrium of the internal forces, a form-finding procedure is required. A novel "facilitating" numerical framework is introduced in this paper: For a given continuous reference shape, a geometrically similar discrete model is found by implementation of the Dynamic Relaxation method. Numerical methods to the finding of grid cutting pattern, as well as, a Newton-Raphson method to assess the allowable timber cross-section, are illustrated.

Conference Name World Conference Timber Engineering
Start Date Jul 10, 2014
End Date Aug 14, 2014
Publication Date 2014
Deposit Date Jan 20, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jan 20, 2015
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Free-form structures; grid shell; solid wood; form-finding; parametric design; dynamic relaxation; Newton-Raphson;
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Jan 20, 2015


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