Discrete element assemblies, shell structures, curved surfaces, tessellation

Further development of the thesis project – testing 3 supports supported dome structure worked. Although the side elements tend to fall away and do not have any structural performance in the whole model.

Having a medial spine helps during the assembly process and once it is assembled all other elements can be easily attached to each other.

Documenting symmetrical 3 supports supported dome structure with hexagonal tessellation pattern

Some additional information according to the tessellation of symmetrical and asymmetrical shell structures could be found in the diagrams below.

Tessellation of a symmetrical shell
Tessellation of an asymmetrical shell

While working with symmetry gives an opportunity to automate the process in Grasshopper, working with an asymmetrical shapes requires some background knowledge, starting from medial spine to understanding of a force flow in the discrete element shell geometry to size of each voussoir and as for now is drawn manually. Furthermore, it is impossible to stick with a same number of vertexes for each detail, so the whole tessellation becomes an n-gon pattern.

Final model for testing asymmetrical discrete element shell on a flat terrain condition, size – 70x70x20cm, number of elements ~380 pieces.
Fragment of an asymmetrical model on a flat terrain condition
Layout of details

And finally first experiments with different thickness of a shell from DE.

Mesh offset by face normals using remaped amplitude
Scheme showing the different thickness of a shell having the thicker supports and thinner top elements

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