Thesis Defence: Mengdie ZhangExport this event to calendar

Monday, December 17, 2018 — 10:00 AM EST

Of the thesis entitled: Space Pyramidicone: Structural Simulation and Optimization of A Lightweight Space Structure

Abstract:

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:

Supervisor:

Philip Beesley, University of Waterloo

Committee Members:

Terri Boake, University of Waterloo

Jonathan Enns, University of Waterloo

 

External Reader:

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                
10:00 AM               
ARC 2026


A copy of the thesis is available for perusal in ARC 2106A.

Location 
ARC - School of Architecture
ARC 2026
7 Melville Street South

Cambridge, ON N1S 2H4
Canada

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