Design Tools and Workflows for Braided Structures – Book Chapter


Vestartas P., Heinrich M.K., Zwierzycki M.,
Leon D.A., Cheheltan A., La Magna R., Ayres P.
Design Tools and Workflows for Braided
Design Modelling Symposium – Humanizing
Digital Reality, 2017, pages 671-681, Springer,
ISBN: 978-981-10-6611-5,

This paper presents design workflows for the representation, analysis and fabrication of braided structures. The workflows employ a braid pattern and simulation method which extends the state-of-the-art in the following ways: by supporting the braid design of both pre-determined target shapes and exploratory, generative, or evolved designs; by incorporating material and fabrication constraints generalised for both hand and machine; by providing a greater degree of design agency and supporting real-time modification of braid topologies. The paper first introduces braid as a technique, stating the objectives and motivation for our exploration of braid within an architectural context and highlighting both the relevance of braid and current lack of suitable design modelling tools to support our approach. We briefly introduce the state-of-the-art in braid representation and present the characteristics and merits of our method, demonstrated though four example design and analysis workflows. The workflows frame specific aspects of enquiry for the ongoing research project flora robotica. These include modelling target geometries, automatically producing instructions for fabrication, conducting structural analysis, and supporting generative design. We then evaluate the performance and generalisability of the modelling against criteria of geometric similarity and simulation performance. To conclude the paper we discuss future developments of the work.

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