Thrust Network Analysis: Exploring Three-dimensional Equilibrium

Block P.
Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA, USA

This dissertation presents Thrust Network Analysis, a new methodology for generating compression-only vaulted surfaces and networks. The method finds possible funicular solutions under gravitational loading within a de fined envelope. Using projective geometry, duality theory and linear optimization, it provides a graphical and intuitive method, adopting the same advantages of techniques such as graphic statics, but o ffering a viable extension to fully three-dimensional problems. The proposed method is applicable for the analysis of vaulted historical structures, speci cally in unreinforced masonry, as well as the design of new vaulted structures. This dissertation introduces the method and shows examples of applications in both fields.


    author      = "Block, P.",
    title       = "Thrust Network Analysis: Exploring Three-dimensional Equilibrium",
    institution = "Massachusetts Institute of Technology",
    year        = "2009",
    address     = "Cambridge, MA, USA",
    month       = "May",
    doi         = "",
    note        = "PhD dissertation",

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