Research Output
An Industrial Knowledge Collaborative CAD System for Scaffolding Structures
  Scaffolds are a form of temporary structure widely used throughout the construction industry for various purposes. Some common uses are to provide access, for storage of materials or as temporary support. The design of such structures is governed by European Standard EN12811-1 [1] which came into practice in January 2011. In the UK, tube and fitting scaffolds are the most prevalent type of scaffolds which are in use. However, there has been an increase in the use of system scaffolds such as the Cuplok or Layer systems in recent years.
Modelling and design of scaffolding and temporary work embodies significant levels of complexity, which make it very inconvenient and, sometimes not possible to utilise a general structural finite element package. Moreover, industrial expertise plays an important role in the modelling and design process which makes it unlikely that a single engineer can work alone on a complex problem. Knowledge-intensive collaboration has emerged as a promising discipline for dealing with the modelling and decision-making processes in a distributed design system. In this paper we first review the previous and current research on the development of scaffolding CAD systems. Then, we develop an industrial knowledge collaborative CAD system based on the AutoDESK objectARX platform [2] for collaborative design modelling and decision support. A comprehensive component database is developed incorporating industrial expertise and acting as the knowledge servers. Based on the component-based modelling-design approach, a full software package has been developed that includes, pre-processor, analysis engine, post-processor, design module, report and drawing generator. Finally, as an illustration, a practical project is modelled using the CAD system developed. The analysis and design results are demonstrated. Additionally a practical project is designed using the software and the results compared to the traditional two-dimensional analysis methods.

  • Date:

    09 September 2011

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Civil-Comp Press

  • DOI:


  • Library of Congress:

    TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    670 Manufacturing

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


O'Neill, S., Zhang, H., & Pawelak, M. (2011). An Industrial Knowledge Collaborative CAD System for Scaffolding Structures. In Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Conference on Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering Computingdoi:10.4203/ccp.96.111



CAD system, scaffolding design, knowledge servers, Autodesk ObjectARX, integrated design and analysis, collaborative design.

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