Mechanical Form-Finding of Timber Fabric Structures


Funding: SNF

Status: Completed, 2010-2014

Doctor: Seyed Sina Nabaei

Thesis director: Prof. Yves Weinand, architect and engineer, IBOIS

Co-director: Prof. Olivier Baverel, engineer, ENPC (Paris)


Mechanical Form-Finding of TFS

The numerical form finding of Timber Fabric Structures (TSF) and their structural analysis is pursued in framework of a thesis research project at IBOIS-EPFL.

The deformed state of the TSF can be regarded as the relaxed configuration of a flat initial state under a set of imposed boundary conditions. These constraints can be either the order of panels or their offset at a particular overlap or an imposed displacement/rotation on a degree of freedom for a structural node. Interlacing and then connecting panels together, makes them deform and initiates a pre-stressed module with active bending behavior. We postulate that knowing the flat configuration and the overlaps interpreted as mechanically meaningful BCs suffices to numerically calculate the relaxed form of TSF.

The form finding steps can be resumed as a methodology in the following diagram.

The above described form finding methodology is applied for the form finding of the Timber Fabric Module and the two-strand braided arch structure using the Dynamic Relaxation method and shell Finite Elements.


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