Of the thesis entitled: Space Pyramidicone: Structural Simulation and Optimization of A Lightweight Space Structure
This thesis investigates how to use regular pyramidal and conic expanded module stretched from
laser cut sheet metal as the basic unit to assemble a space frame structure. This thesis focuses on
utilizing computational tool to aid the design process and evaluating structural capacity of this
lightweight space frame - Space Pyramidicone. By precisely simulating the formation process of
stretching laser cut sheet metal from two-dimensional sheet to three-dimensional shape and
simulating its structural behavior by proper computational tool, the structural capacity of the
design module and design structure are being analyzed. And because of the results generated
after simulation process, it allows architects to go back to adjust input parameter settings to
control the generative forms of the design module - the pyramidicone unit. Through this
procedure, structural optimization of the design unit and the design structure are accomplished.
To build structure by unit stretched from sheet metal is inspired from the work of Living
Architecture Systems Group who uses economical manipulation on forming laser cut sheet metal
to build multiple enclosing spaces. In order to achieve this conceive, proper structural form is
developed by consulting current typical space structure and related precedents in order to make
the structure be close to mainstream structural form and be acceptable by the public.
In this thesis, the work of evaluating whether pyramidicone unit and the structure of Space
Pyramidicone can sustain enough weight and perform well under different load cases requires
algorithms for simulating how the material behaves under stretching and what the final shape it
forms. Proper computational tools are introduced to simulate their structural capacity and
architects can decide which parameter settings perform relatively well by comparing results. By
this structural optimization process, how pyramidicone unit and the structure of Space
Pyramidicone perform can be understood.
In terms of the future prospect of Space Pyramidicone, it requires further researches mainly on
exploring the diversity of structural form and possible applications it can be, a workable process
of fabricating and installing Space Pyramidicone, the script for simulating forming process of
stretching sheet metal and the limitations of pyramidicone unit. Through these continuous
investigations, it is possible to provide an alternative way to fabricate and construct a structure
different from typical space structure and it has potential for this new space structure to get a
market share in the future.
The examining committee is as follows:
Philip Beesley, University of Waterloo
Terri Boake, University of Waterloo
Jonathan Enns, University of Waterloo
David Bowick, Blackwell Structural Engineers
The committee has been approved as authorized by the Graduate Studies Committee.
The Defence Examination will take place:
Monday December 17, 2018
A copy of the thesis is available for perusal in ARC 2106A.
7 Melville Street South
Cambridge, ON N1S 2H4