Formfinding Thesis

Form-finding is the process of finding a structural configuration capable of a state of self-stressed equilibrium – when tension and compression stabilize the structure.

Our form-finding application uses a tensegrity structure that is not necessarily in an equilibrium state represented as a graph as input, and produces either (a) failure when no equilibrium state is possible, or (b) a fully attributed labeled graph of a tensegrity structure in an equilibrium state.

Before the use of computers, these equilibrium shapes could only be found through cumbersome physical models.

As technology has advanced, numerical methods have evolved to solve for the optimal shape.

They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. Inherently characterized by the interaction of geometry and forces, the unique nature of long span dome, shell, and membrane structures readily allows collaboration between architects and engineers in the examination of their optimal form.

Unlike free forms which are defined mathematically, form-finding shapes rely on the structure and loads themselves for definition.Structures designed both as physical models and in simulation software can require several iterations of fine adjustments.In this thesis, we develop a form-finding application to reduce the iterative adjustments required when designing a tensegrity structure.Since each of the papers was written to be largely self-contained, however, a certain amount of repetition, particular to introductory remarks, is unavoidable.For this reason the "contents" lists only those sections which introduce new material.Tensegrity research has been applied to fields including robotics, art, architecture, and biology.In recent years, computer simulation has been introduced as a tool to allow researchers to design, build, and simulate tensegrity structures.‘Form-finding of branching structures supporting freeform architectural surfaces’ is the graduation thesis of the master track Building Technology at the University of Technology in Delft.This thesis is made by Alex kouwenhoven in the time-span of three-quarter of a year and tutored by Andrew Borgart and Ate Snijder.References in these appendices and the introduction (chapter 1) are contained in the main bibliography, appendix E. However, this optimization must be done through formfinding methods, whereby the structure itself defines its own shape based on its figure of equilibrium under applied loads.

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