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Numerical Form Finding

This interactive form finding tool, run in Google Chrome, generates a structurally efficient form for a grid shell under gravity loading. To manipulate the shape, you can 1) Adjust the mesh by moving the sliders in the Topology Tab; 2) Fix points in space (prior to and during the form finding process) under Restraints or 3) Change the Elasticity Modulus, the Cross-Sectional Area (for a more funicular shape) or the Moment of Inertia under the Properties Tab. To reset, you need to refresh the WebPage. This grid shell is modeled as a set of springs and masses to which gravity load is applied. To find the stable equilibrium of this system, we use a method called Dynamic Relaxation (DR). The Dynamic Relaxation (DR) method was invented by Alistair Day in 1974. This numerical procedure traces the motion of a structure through time under applied loading. More info:

Adriaenssens S., Ney L., Bodarwe E., Williams C., (2011). 'Construction Constraints drive the form finding of an irregular meshed steel and glass shell'. In: Journal of Architectural Engineering.

Adriaenssens S.M.L. and Barnes M.R.,( 2001). Tensegrity spline beam and grid shell structures. Engineering Structures, 23 (1), p. 29-36.