Mesh-Based Design to Fabrication Workflows for Funicular Structures: A Case Study

  • Tommaso CasucciEmail author
  • Ryan Hughes
  • Jens Pedersen
  • David Reeves
  • Vishu Bhooshan
  • Shajay Bhooshan
Conference paper


Funicular shells have found large interest amongst architectural designers for their advantageous structural properties allowing them to cover large spans through the use of relatively weak and readily-available materials.

Although the properties of funicular structures are well-known and their efficiency well documented, the interdependencies of the multiple constraints present in real-world projects, from form-finding and rationalization to fabrication and assembly, mean that the realization of these structures remains a challenge.

This paper presents a unified design-to-fabrication workflow for funicular structures that adopts the Half-Edge (HE) mesh data structure throughout the entire design process from early-stage design to robotic fabrication.

The research contributes advancements in the fast early-stage design exploration of structure- and fabrication-aware proposals as well as the generation of voussoir geometry through mesh segmentation to the rationalization and documentation of geometric information for manufacturing and assembly.

The advancements are presented through the description of a case study, a proof-of-concept funicular vault manufactured using the Robotic Hot Wire Cutting (RHWC) method.


Funicular design Geometry processing Half-Edge mesh Stereotomy Optimization Robotic wire cutting 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tommaso Casucci
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ryan Hughes
    • 2
  • Jens Pedersen
    • 3
  • David Reeves
    • 4
  • Vishu Bhooshan
    • 1
  • Shajay Bhooshan
    • 1
  1. 1.Computational and Design Research Group (ZHCODE)Zaha Hadid ArchitectsLondonEngland
  2. 2.Axis ConsultingAarhusDenmark
  3. 3.Odico Formwork RoboticsOdenseDenmark
  4. 4.DNEGLondonEngland

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