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Studies are investigating the possibilities of incorporating winding structures in the construction industry. This includes using bio composite rope that is hardened using resin. Parametric design optimization and using graphs with the main force directions will show patterns that are used to define the winding geometry and limit the use of materials.
Nature has high efficiency in structure which could be learnt from. She thickens areas of high stress and leaves areas of low stress thin. All this without blueprint but as a direct effect of the forces flowing through the material. There is intrinsic efficiency in the way nature does this. She essentially ran optimization processes for millions of years. The material of choice in nature is often fibres. The versatility of this material shows in both its strength as its modularity.
To emulate this observed efficiency in manmade structures there are challenges to consider. The first is that of design. Computer models could approach optimal design using mathematical methods. The way the optimization in this research works is similar to the way optimization works in nature. The design is iterative and adjusts to changing flow of force by displacing the material towards high stresses.
Another challenge is that of material placement. Nature distributes material using complex biological systems. Contrary to prevailing building methods where the strategy is to make structures as generalised as possible. However using computer aided design, high complexity can be achieved and directly fed into a robotic manufacturing process.
Applying these principles to create a panel based, fully integrated construction method is the goal of this research.
In this master graduation thesis, the goal was to produce a bio-based bridge railing through numerical optimization and robotic winding. Many aspects are incorporated in this research, such as computational design, materialization, and product manufacturing. First of all, a preliminary design together with the chosen production method of coreless filament winding, are used to investigate material possibilities. Secondly, the production method is established and thoroughly tested. The structure is finalized with a discrete ground structure optimization.
Through smart material distribution, this results in the most lightweight structure within the material and production limits. A robot path is scripted from the extracted optimization geometry, to manufacture the final structure. This structure consists of two winded panels, which is tested with a horizontal load at the top edge, mimicking the load of people leaning against the bridge railing.
This research displays a construction method with bio-based materials and one of its possibilities. The succession of a functional bridge railing structure is a huge achievement and great step forward in this innovative field.