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DynaShape Your Architectural Designs: A Practical Approach to Designing Complex Forms in Dynamo

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    This instructional demo will introduce DynaShape, a free and open-source Dynamo package for constraint-based form-finding, optimization and physics simulation. Participants will learn the basic features of DynaShape along with a number of useful geometric and physics-based design principles DynaShape. This allows the users to model complex curved forms that are based on certain physical/structural types (e.g., catenary shells, tensile structures) or that meet certain geometric properties (e.g. planar quad panels, unrollable surface stripes, as-uniform-as-possible edge length) right inside the familiar Dynamo environment. At the beginning, participants will learn how DynaShape treats a design system as a collection of nodes (i.e., vertices in 3D space). Different forces and constraints are then applied to these nodes. Examples are the Length constraint that keeps 2 nodes at a specified distance, the CoPlanar constraint that keeps a group of nodes to lie on the same plane, the Equal-Distance constraint that maintains uniform-segment-length of a polylines, and many more. Usually each node is subjected to multiple, usually conflicting, forces and constraints. This typically makes it very hard for a human designer to conceive what the 'best' positions of all nodes that can satisfy all these constraints and forces simultaneously. Here, the iterative algorithm in DynaShape will find a solution that meet all the constraints, or satisfy them as much as possible if the overall system is over-constrained. The instructors will then guide the participants through a number of hand-on DynaShape design examples, such as doubly curved rooves, compression-only forms, and membrane simulation Finally, to take advantage of the Dynamo platform, we will then employ the Dynamo customizer and project Fractal to explore different DynaShape constraint and force parameter settings. This allows the exploration of a wide range of complex design solution. For example, we can demonstrate a tensile structure design scenario where the anchor and cable positions are parametrized and handled by project Fractal, allowing the designer to 'optineer' a variety of emerging tensile forms.

    Key Learnings

    • Learn the basic geometric principles that can help design complex but practical architectural forms
    • Learn how DynaShape can be used for form finding and optimization
    • Learn how to correctly set up a computational system in Dynamo that captures the solution space
    • Learn about ?optioneering? by reusing the conceptual systems, utilizing Dynamo Customizer and Project Fractal