Formfinding Thesis

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Pucher's equation relies on a prescribed stress resultant throughout the structure, while the forcedensity method relies on prescribed force-to-length ratios in each bar or cable, leading to a single system of linear equations.

Advantages and disadvantages of both methods are discussed, as well as examples illustrating the types of structures that can be formed.

Tensegrity (tensional integrity) is a structural principle where rigid elements (struts) under compression are held together by a network of elastic elements (cables) under tension.

Tensegrity structures have many applications in modelling the natural world.

However, the design of these complex columns is often done by the computer and optimizing software.

There is a missing link in the field of structural mechanics and these types of columns, the knowledge of forces flowing through these complex three-dimensional 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.

This paper presents a brief history of physical methods formerly used, as well as common applications for these structures.

Two numerical methods, the Pucher's equation method and the force-density method (FDM), are then presented.

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