Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Frei Otto Soap Film/Light Eye Attempt

Frei Otto developed a method using soap films to work out the shape and form for some of his tensile structures. The forms derived from soap films were extremely efficient and lightweight. Examples are pictured below.
Again, I used Grasshopper, Kangaroo and the Weaverbird plugin for Rhino to produce similar forms digitally. I used 5 anchor points, created stiffer 'cable' springs for the edge of the surface, and then ran the Kangaroo physics to see the result. Below is a screen shot of the simulation. 

I was pleased with the similarity of the resulting form, but the mesh pattern isn't very tidy. It wouldn't be a very neat or sensible cable system. I  will attempt to address this issue in coming weeks. Below are images of the tensile form I produced. They could be used to hang from columns to support a larger network of tensile roof system, or be pulled down and anchored to the floor to create light wells in roofs. To see more on Frei Otto's soap film experiments click on the link for an interesting youtube video demonstrating numerous soap film form finding exercises https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxeUFVVfVrQ

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Tensile Structures

Whilst at university I did a small research project into the tensile structures by Frei Otto. I made numerous tensile structures of my own using similar methods to Frei Otto. The models pictured above were produced with tights. This is a very effective way of producing interesting tensile forms. 

I have continued exploring the Kangaroo plugin for Grasshopper and have been able to produce very similar tensile forms digitally to those which I produced physically. There is a further plugin required to produce such forms called Weaverbird. Below is video of the simulation produced with the software. 

The final 3D models had a neat mesh and were fairly effective at imitating the real life behaviour of the tensile models I made. Below are a few images of the final tensile mesh, thanks to the Grasshopper Kangaroo Weaverbird software.

Friday, 31 January 2014


I've been playing around with Kangaroo a bit more recently. This form is simply a grid of lines, each of which are springs. all the points along 2 edges are anchored and then 3 separate intersections are snchored. It creates really interesting forms. This tool would have been really interesting to use to develop my Thesis project.The waffle would be an accurate guide to follow with the timbrel vaults.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Rotating squares.....

Just something I did a while ago in Grasshopper and then rendered. Thought I'd post it!!!!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Into the world of Kangaroo.......

I've been learning the basics of Kangaroo recently. I revisited my uni project in which vaults were created in Grasshopper by lofting a number of catenary curves. I have watched a few helpful tutorials and have created a vault like form using a basic set up,  involving springs, anchor points and a force in the Z direction. In principle it is similar to physically hanging chains, but with the force being applied upwards in the z axis. 

Tuesday, 3 December 2013


I was browsing Dezeen the other week and came across a really interesting staircase by Paul Cocksedge. I was particularly interested in the 3 diagrams showing how the staircase design evolved. I am unsure what software was used for the design process but I instantly thought that Grasshopper would have been a great tool to explore the potential design solutions and parameters. It resulted in me producing an algorithm displaying how it could possibly have been used.