Research Output
A form finding method for post formed timber grid shell structures.
  Timber grid shells provide efficient ways of covering large openings with relatively small amount of materials. With three-dimensional CAD software, it is now possible to model a free-form surface and discretize it in smaller straight elements, thus postponing the design of the node-connections geometry to the manufacturing process (i.e. by Computer-Aided-Manufacturing). A "low-tech" method for building free-form timber grid shell structures with standardized connections is that of assembling an initially flat grid of continuous rods and then, post-forming (bending) it in a double curved shape. Accordingly, the latter method doesn't require high-tech manufacturing processes. However, being the final shape influenced by equilibrium of the internal forces, a form-finding procedure is required. A novel "facilitating" numerical framework is introduced in this paper: For a given continuous reference shape, a geometrically similar discrete model is found by implementation of the Dynamic Relaxation method. Numerical methods to the finding of grid cutting pattern, as well as, a Newton-Raphson method to assess the allowable timber cross-section, are illustrated.

  • Publication Status:


  • DOI:


  • Library of Congress:

    TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    694 Wood construction & carpentry


D'Amico, B., Kermani, A. & Zhang, H. (2013). A form finding method for post formed timber grid shell structures. doi:10.13140/2.1.3949.8888



Free-form structures; grid shell; solid wood; form-finding; parametric design; dynamic relaxation; Newton-Raphson;

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