RhinoVAULT is a plug-in for Rhino, being developed at the BLOCK Research Group by Matthias Rippmann, myself and Philippe Block, that allows for the intuitive design of compression-only shapes, offering a maximum control of the geometry. This software is written particularly for shaping unreinforced masonry vaults, but can also be used for designing efficient freeform shells. Based on the Thrust Network Approach (TNA), which uses a force network as discretization of the shape, it is possible to internally redistribute forces within the network using force diagrams.
A first application of the tool is a prototype of a freeform Catalan thin-tile vault erected at the ETH Campus, Zurich, Switzerland. It was planned and build by Lara Davis, and designed by Matthias Rippmann.
Pictures (c) by BLOCK Research Group