Computational Structural Design and Fabrication of Hollow-Core Concrete BeamsMohamed Ismail, Caitlin Mueller, IASS Symposium 2018: Creativity in Structural Design, 2018
The paper presents the results of the design method for a simply supported cavity beam, along with fabrication and load testing results. An optimization algorithm determines the location and rotation of empty plastic water bottles within a prismatic reinforced concrete beam in order to reduce material usage without reducing strength. Designed for India’s affordable housing construction, the beam is constrained by the fabrication methods and materials available to India’s construction industry. This is an effort to merge structural design tools with the development of affordable housing technology, potentially reducing the economic and environmental cost of construction through material efficiency. The designed beam results in a theoretical concrete volume reduction of 16%. Two cavity beams are designed and constructed, and then load-tested in comparison to two solid beams with the same dimensions.
GH Python RemoteTool, 2017 - Present
GH Python Remote is a special set of tools in Grasshopper that let you use regular Python code directly in the GHPython component. This means you can use numpy, scipy, matlplotlib et al. right inside of Grasshopper! Installation instructions are on the Github page.
GH Python Remote works by connecting GHPython to an external instance of Python that runs all the usual programs. This augments the GHPython component to get the best of both worlds: your code will be able to call both RhinoCommon functions and regular Python packages from the same script. The dependencies are as limited as possible, and the installation is just to two command lines. The connection between GHPython and the remote Python is as fast as possible, and does not slow down when the size of your objects increases.
The component is still very flexible. For example, it will also let you connect to Python servers running on external machines, bringing the power of the cloud to your Grasshopper. Another example: it also works the other way, controlling Rhino and GHPython from an external Python program. And it's all open source!
Structural optimization of folded plate structuresResearch, 2016
This project explores the potential of folded plate structures to be a structurally optimized architectural typology.
A custom Grasshopper script was developed in which the designer can determine the form of a spanning folded plate structures by adjusting the control points of two curves through which the base surface is lofted. The input geometry is then connected to two different optimizers, Goat and Digital Structure's own Stormcloud, to generate different optimized alternatives close to the base shape.
The findings demonstrated that the folded plate typology inherently performed better than a continuous shell of the same shape. Structural optimization was shown to offer a wide design space for the global morphology of folded plate structures.
A video overview of the parametric modeling process and a few case studies is presented here.
Stormcloud: Interactive evolutionary exploration for GrasshopperTool, 2014 - 2015
Based on the framework developed for structureFIT, Stormcloud is a new component for Grasshopper and Rhino that allows any parametric model to be explored using an interactive evolutionary framework, combining quantitative performance analysis with qualitative designer input. Unlike structureFIT, Stormcloud can work with any model and geometry type that can be represented and analyzed in Grasshopper. The quantitative analysis is also flexible: it can use structural weight, like structureFIT, but users are also free to input their own objective functions computed using other plugins or user-defined expressions.
Stormcloud is currently available for download as part of the Design Space Exploration tool suite on at Food4Rhino here.