University of Cambridge > > Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars > On the expressive language of info-graphic statics: analysis and design methods

On the expressive language of info-graphic statics: analysis and design methods

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Graphic statics offer alternative solutions for stress analysis. Geometric operations provide visualisation techniques for better understanding structures. We explore fundamental geometric configurations that can successfully export stress information. The emergence of the field dates to the Renaissance period where graphical solutions were used for structural calculations. The didactic character of graphic statics to the training of engineers and architects allowed for a more recent comeback. Throughout the past, graphical methods would demand precise drawing skills. Today, computer-aided design tools allow for direct implementation of graphic statics procedures. This allows for adopting these techniques at the early stages of the design process and thus the employment can contribute to structural optimisation. We give a few examples of the so-called ‘Maxwell-Minkowski’ sum, the ‘Corsican’ sum, and the ‘deformed Maxwell-Williot diagram’. These are visual interpretations of vertical and horizontal equilibrium, and the combinations of the form diagram and force polygons. We also explore how geometric re-alignments of force polygons can assist in the study of kinematics. We begin by applying our methods on a two-dimensional truss, we then move to simple gridshell roofs. Finally, we present a step-by-step design-and-analysis a formfinding method based on graphic statics.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars series.

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