Quadrilateral panelization of freeform surface structures
Embargo Lift Date: 2019-04-01
Automation in Construction
36 - 44
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Freeform surfaces need to be discretized into manageable sized panels so that the surface can be fabricated in smaller pieces that are then assembled on site. This discretization process comprises numerous challenges; including not only the aesthetic and spatial concerns, but also the structural and constructional needs. The mesh generated has to fit to the surface, without distorting the form; meanwhile the panels have to preserve their planarity in order to prevent any brittle failure due to warping. This study proposes a unique approach to quadrilateral discretization by incorporating the form, material capacities and fabrication challenges in order to obtain a structure that can be realized and constructed. In this paper, quadrilateral discretization of freeform surfaces is studied with the focus of material properties. The possibility of utilizing quadrilateral meshes with limited non-planarity is explored. The capacity of materials against warping is calculated, by structural experiments and simulations to obtain the limiting values that are integrated into design as tolerance of panels to non-planarity. Consequently, the amount of non-planarity becomes a parameter that needs to be considered during the generation of the quadrilateral mesh in order to generate an optimum surface discretization.