Minimal path computation

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3D print, digital fabrication, GSA, high-rise, lectures, minimal paths, PROJECTS, research, structure, Surface Evolver, writing


Research Program: DRX 2012 /// Minimal Surface High-rise Structures

Host: HENN Berlin

Project: Prototower 03 – Ultra-lightweight Spaceframe Structure using minimal path computation

Researchers: Agata Kycia (HENN), Danae Polyviou (TEUFFEL Engineering Consultants), Anna Wawrzinek (FU Berlin)

minimalpathcomputation-drx2012-7hThe design concept of this Prototower was derived from the formations of soap film. In the physical world, Soap film consumes the least amount of surface area given a certain boundary. Here we investigated the formation of soap film under special boundary curves. Specifically the emergent formation of spatial minimal paths along the edges of multiple minimal surfaces formed the base for this research. These minimal paths can be considered as curve networks which consist of linear elements with a shortest overall length between all boundaries.


pic.1 Topological changes – 2D string vertex popping in Evolver

The main structure of the tower is a three-dimensional space frame, which was created using minimization methods and shortest path algorithms. Together with the concrete slabs, the emergent network forms a stiff system that can substitute conventional structural solutions. This stable structure allows the space frame to stand without a central core. This feature gives the tower maximum freedom when choosing an interior program as well as superior ventilation throughout.
length-comparison.Newjpgpic.2 Minimal paths between 3 fixed points in space 
Similar to foam bubble formations in nature, every node of the structure has three elements that meet at a 120 degree angle.  This is a great advantage for the detailing, fabrication and assembly process, resulting in only one joint type for all connections.


pic.3 3D string vertex popping in Evolver with fixed edges (top image) and flexible (bottom image)

min paths

pic.4 3D module based on minimal path computation


pic.5 Studies of various Structural systems using different arrangement of the minimal path modules

drx2012 prototower 03

pic.6 Prototower 03 /// Agata Kycia (HENN), Danae Polyviou (TEUFFEL Engineering Consultants) & Anna Wawrzinek (FU Berlin)

The proposed system is a ultra-light structure design which allows for minimal material usage and therewith reducing the environmental impact significantly without compromising the structural integrity of more conservative solutions. (text from HENN)


Prototower 03 became a case study for the paper called “Ultra-lightweight spaceframe structures based on minimal path computation” by Moritz Fleischmann (HENN, Berlin), Toni Kotnik ( ETH Zurich, Patrick Teuffel (TU Eindhoven), Gunter Henn (HENN, Berlin), presented on the 9th of may 2013 at the TENSINET Symposium 2013 in Istambul – [RE]THINKING Lightweight Structures. This paper refers to a 500m tall highrise project designed during the DRX 2012 together with Anna Wawrzinek (FU Berlin) and Danae Polyviou (TEUFFEL Engineering Consultants) at HENN in Berlin.

The 3-days long symposium took place at the Mimar Sinan Fine-Art University in Istanbul. Main discussed topics were: [RE]THINKING analysis and materials, ETFE, Pneumatic structures and CLOSING THE LOOP Life Cycle Assessment for Membrane Materials and Structures.

More information about the presented project you can find here on the HENN website.

MinimalPathComputation-DRX2012-3.jpgTENSINET_FINAl 1


DRX 2012 TEAM:

Moritz Fleischmann & Martin Henn (HENN)

Prof. Dr. Gunter Henn (TU Dresden, HENN)
Prof. Dr. Toni Kotnik (ETHZ, Uni Innsbruck)
Prof. Dr. Konrad Polthier (FU Berlin)
Prof. Dr. Patrick Teuffel (TU Eindhoven, Teuffel Engineering Consultants)

Hannes Lechner (Uni Innsbruck)
Sunghyun Park (HENN)
Faniry Razafindrazaka (FU Berlin)
Michael Mühlhaus (TU München)
Nils Seifert (TU München)
Agata Kycia (HENN)
Danae Polyviou (TEUFFEL Engineering Consultants)
Anna Wawrzinek (FU Berlin)

Nora Graw (HENN) & Sarah Roberts (HENN)

WORKSHOPS: Peter Debney (Oasys)
JURORS: Tobias Nolte (Gehry Technologies), Mirko Becker (Städelschule Frankfurt)
Alex Reddihough (ARUP), Prof.- Dr. Daniel Lordick (TU Berlin, TU Dresden),Eva Hinkers (ARUP)


Geometry Gym

Detail Research

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