Shape to Shell

From shape to shell: a design tool to materialize
freeform shapes using gridshell structures

Lionel Du Peloux, Olivier Baverel, Jean-François Caron, Frédéric Tayeb

This paper by Lionel Du Peloux, Olivier Baverel, Jean-François Caron and Frédéric Tayeb introduces and explains the design process of a gridshell in composite materials built in Paris in  2011 for the festival Soliday. A brief introduction presents the structural concept and the erection methodology employed.

It explains why composite materials are relevant for such applications. Following this practical case, the whole process from 3D-shape to real-shell is then detailed. Firstly, the shape is rationalized and optimized to smooth local curvature concentrations. Secondly, a specific computing tool is used to mesh the surface according to the compass method.

This tool allows designers to look for optimal mesh orientations regarding the elements curvature Finally, a full structural analysis is performed to find the relaxed shape of the grid and check its stability, strength and stiffness under loads. The authors conclude on the overall relevance of such structures.

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