Integration of FEM, NURBS and Genetic Algorithms in Free-Form Grid Shell Design

  • Milos Dimcic
  • Jan Knippers


Popularity of free-form grid shells grows every day since they represent a universal structural solution for free-form shaped architecture, enabling the conflation of structure and facade into one element [1]. The infinite number of possibilities of generating a grid structure over some surface calls for an automated method of design and optimization, in contrast to the standard trial-and-error routine. This paper presents some results of the comprehensive research dealing with the optimization of grid shells over some predefined free-form shape. By combining static analysis and design software on a basic C++ level we try to statically optimize a grid shell generated over a given surface. Using Genetic Algorithms for the optimization we are able to significantly reduce stress and displacement in a structure, thus save material and enhance stability. The presented method of structural optimization is constructed as a C++ based plug-in for Rhinoceros 3D, one of the main NURBS (Non Uniform Rational B-Splines) geometry based modeling tools used by architects for free-form design today. The plug-in communicates iteratively with Oasys GSA, a commercial FEM software.


Genetic Algorithm Structural Member Grid Structure Grid Density Load Combination 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milos Dimcic
    • 1
  • Jan Knippers
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Building Structures and Structural DesignStuttgart UniversityGermany

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