Construction Guide

Each triangular structural member is labeled according to the following system...

Row#_Triangle# (counting bottom up and left to right on the above diagram)

And each connection is labeled with the two triangles the piece connects separated with and equal sign. For example...


The image below is a guide to bending the aluminum triangles (specifically for rows 10-18, further instructions for the other rows will be coming soon)


Work Progress

Great work everyone! The work has really come along.
One minor bump in the road is that a few wedges and tabs might need to be remade if the slotting changes due to lack of room a leg of a triangle.
Otherwise the layout team can begin. As for the layout it looks as if we will need to place pieces adjacent to one another and delete overlapping lines. This will decrease the cost of cutting.


Work to be done

So guys, as you can see there is still a lot of work to be done. I will try to keep this updated as files come in. If you worked on a file that now has a red X please change the labeling so that it is 1/8" in height and a single line font such as "roman s" then resend it.

First layout for cutting

This is a layout of our first 4'x8' sheet of aluminum to be water jet cut. I includes triangles in rows 1, 2, and half of row 3 and the required connecting pieces between all those triangles.


Re-building the Form

Taking the new form, in which Calvin added a third opening, we began rebuilding the lattice structure. The above image shows the sequence of steps I took.

First I had to re-triangulate the edge of the new opening.

Then I traced each triangle with a polyline. In doing this could then go back and create surfaces from each planar curve. I then offset each triangle on their appropriate surface. Each triangel can now be extruded using the "fin" command.


Team K

Since we are now continuing on this design as a team our work is now spread out. We have decided to move away from pipes. Our six main structural ribs are now rectilinear in cross section. This allows us to to easily manufacturer them by laminating plywood pieces. Take a look at Marilyn's blog for some images of this change.

We are also continuing to improve the connection of the triangulated bracing. Again, we want to move away from pipes. We are proposing a new design where the bracing is inset between each rib. Images of this can be seen on Jorge's blog. We are still working on this connection as there are issues that arise from the rectangular ribs being arrayed at an angle and not perpendicular to the ground plane. The advantage of this new connection, however, is that only angles between the braces, along the surface of the form, need to be predetermined but the angle in the second dimension remains flexible.

EX_03 Structure Connections

Upon first creating the bracing between the ribs they were simply laid down and there was no method of connection. I though the most straight forward way of connecting the braces to the ribs would be to simply bolt them together. To do this each end of the diagonal bracing would have to be flattened. I tried several approaches to achieve this all of which were unsuccessful. I had the best luck with the cage edit tool. Although I'm sure there is a much better way to do this-one that would give me better results too.
I then overlapped all for braces at the point of connection, created a hole and threaded a bolt through. Nothing exciting but it will definitely work.

EX_03 Triangulated Structure

Beginning with one surface, I applied a triangular pattern on a grid of 5x30 points. Following the grid I created 5 ribs to act as the primary structure. I then began adding triangulated bracing between the ribs with secondary piping.
The above shows the same steps with out the forms surface.

To create the secondary structure I offset the surface and grid towards the interior of the form by a distance of the radius of the ribs. I initially wanted to separate the secondary structure by having on all bracing going one direction on the interior of the ribs and all the bracing going the opposite direction to be on the exterior of the ribs. This in a sense would create 3 layers of structure. However, has you can tell from the image below when I offset the the surface and grid to the exterior of the ribs, the intersections of the triangle patterns did not line up. Thus, I placed all of the secondary structure into the interior of the ribs.

Another problem I came across that I could not solve was that some of my control points for the secondary structure did not offset enough and some of the bracing intersects with the ribs. This is displayed in the image below. The problem only occurs at the smaller end of the form where the ribs lift off the ground.

And here are a few different view of the final product, with all bracing on the interior of the ribs.


...And Some More

Grid on surface to use as guide.

EX_03 Trial and Error

Basically right now I am just trying to figure out the best way to approach putting a structural frame onto this form. I know the design I want to accomplish but not sure how to get there yet.
Here I drew 2 curves on the surface of the form and tried to create an average of the two lines between them and got a very awkward curve as a result.

Here the projection of the the lattice design did not completely enclose the surface I was trying to cover.

The paneling tool creates great surfaces but I need a frame.

Here is the beginning of a series of ribs on a platform which could then be connected by secondary framing.

EX_02 More Research

Renzo Piano uses a structural lattice system as a curved surface to enclose the Kansai Internation Airport.

EX_02 Research

The Javits Convention Center in New York was built by I.M. Pei in the late 20th century. The exterior is an assemblage of space frames fitted with clear glass. Inside, the structure is supported by tubular steel pillars.

Although the form of the building is very regular I.M Pei used several different methods for connecting different structural elements which could prove useful.

EX_01 Connection

Here an assemblage is created by connecting identical curvilinear forms. The repeating form is designed to hook on to one another and thus works in tension only.


Digitally Enhanced Architecture and Fabrication (D.E.C.A.F)
Calpoly Pomona, Department of Architecture
Prof. Axel Schmitzberger
Winter 2009