Free-form Masonry Shells
Thrust Network Analysis (TNA) is an innovative approach for exploring three-dimensional funicular networks. Through the control of reciprocal force diagrams, which relate form and forces, new unexpected forms for compression-only shells become possible. This research project is pushing which surprising compression forms can be obtained with TNA, demonstrating how the approach gives the designer the power to start exploiting structurally indeterminacy of three-dimensional funicular systems.
Thanks to recent advances in TNA (see: Form Finding to Fabrication), which integrate the interactive structural form finding process with geometric and fabrication constraints into a smooth digital chain, discrete 3D-printed scale models can easily be produced. Unglued "masonry" scale models serve as convincing first validations of the capabilities of this novel approach.