3D printed nodes for structural steelwork connections in civil engineering and architecture

The development and implementation of digitally controlled production are key drivers for industry. High quality of design, function and durability are sought together with efficient material use and production. For the built environment, the scale and limited possibilities for repeatability of buildings and infrastructure have restricted this development.In architecture, tools for parametric geometry modelling have been developed that enable quick testing of alternative geometries. In parallel computational tools have been developed that can support the architect´s broad search for optimal solutions for light, sound, material efficient form, etc. A promising tool is the particle based peridynamics. One major benefit, compared to the finite element method, is the ability to easily handle discontinuity and cracking. The method also allows a rapid reconfiguration of body geometries, a central feature in an iterative design process, effectively linking the mechanical analysis to both design and additive manufacturing.This project aims to develop peridynamics to integrate design, analysis and additive manufacturing with application to 3D printing of metal. Mechanical joints are often both geometrically complex and subjected to varying loads, with a scale and a complexity that is appropriate for the development of mathematical tools that can integrate architectural design with computational analysis and additive manufacturing.

Partner organizations

  • Foster and Partners (Private, United Kingdom)
  • Tyréns AB (Private, Sweden)
Start date 01/09/2019
End date 31/08/2022

Funded by

  • Formas (Public, Sweden)

Published: Fri 03 Jul 2020.