Sunday, 23 October 2011

Modelling Funicular Structures

Funicular structures are structures whose geometry is based on the funicular polygon, a term from graphic statics. Such structures work mainly with axial forces, almost without bending. Typical examples are arches and cables.

At the IABSE-IASS Symposium 2011 in London, I presented novel parametric tools for structural design in early stages. These have been developed at the Chair for Structural Design, ETH Zurich. Download the paper here.


Based on concepts of graphic statics, custom Grasshopper components have been implemented that allow for the interactive modelling of a planar funicular polygon in Rhino. Straight lines are interpreted as external forces, axial forces in the funicular are represented by tubes, red tubes are in tension, blue tubes are in compression. The tube section is proportional to the magnitude of the axial force.


These tools facilitate intuitive modelling of funicular, hence efficient, structural systems.


2 comments:

Inez said...

Cool!

Fred Pieri said...

So nice !
I 'am actually fowwing a course on Coursera (MOOC) given by the EPFL about funicular structure.
And I am also a Grasshoper user.
What you have done just impress me!

Is your definition downloadable somewhere ?
I really would like to play with it .
Thanks a lot ,
cheers

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