CATIA, Component Based Design, Computational Design, Research

High LOD Glazing Panel Creation

It’s a constant struggle with most modeling programs to create truly high LOD models. And this is especially true if the shape or design being attempted is not rectilinear or a quadrilateral. Fortunately, there some great tools, such as xGenerative Design, Assembly Design, and Building 3D Design to help with this, as well as this super helpful video, which I highly recommend to watch.

The Design

Rhino model imported into xGenerative Design, with each reference surface

I used a design of a skylight done in Rhino; the model had the base surfaces which represent the glazing panels. In order to add more detail to this model, I looked at the detail drawings provided by the client, which gave important info such as the type of glazing, size of panels, and offsets for things like sealants — turns out, the glazing panel is triple pane with 1/2″ offset between panels for the sealant!

Creating the Panel

The glass panel was created using Assembly Design, and the Covering element type contains all the different parts of the panel.

Tree Structure

The panel’s basic structure within Assembly Design

The tree structure is made up of two parts: the Skeleton and Plate. The skeleton contains all the inputs and base geometry required to build up the panel, such as the axis system, points, boundary curve and surface. The ‘Plate’ mostly contains references from the Skeleton, in order to further build up the geometry which makes up the panel.

Inputs

View of panel, highlighting the inputs which make up the panel

The inputs are crucial in order to create a template, which will be referenced in the overall design later on.

Panel Construction

The Thickened Surface tool, highlighting the linked surface

To create the glass panels, the surface from the Skeleton is copied into the Plate as a link. Then, using the Thicken Surface tool, the first glass panel is created. The rest of the panels are made in the same way, with the offset distances varying depending on its location.

One thing to note is that the ‘Offset’ of the surface is controlled by a formula, which has some associated parameters which can be changed. This isn’t so important as it’s unlikely that the glass panel type, and therefore thickness, will change after the design development phase, but it was a nice exercise in creating a more parametric model.

Plate Construction

View of a Sketch, for the profile for the sweep which represents the sealants

Another parameter that drives the overall shape of the panel is an ‘Offset’, which allows room to add a profile for the sealant. The boundary is constructed using a polyline, created using the input points. The profile is constrained by a point on the polyline, as well as the linked surface.

In the next post, I’ll go over how to create an Engineering Template from this model. Stay tuned!

Current Projects

Parametric Patterns – Scaling

 

The module is scaled and arrayed within the model to produce variations of the facade pattern. By moving the number slider, the scale factor of both the inputed reference curves are changed. These scaled curves are then arrayed according to the scale factor. For example, if the original pattern is an array of 15 hexagons in the X axis and 9 in the Z axis, a scale factor of .5 would reduce these numbers by half. The result would be a pattern which much more dense.

Gallery

Initial Sunlight Hours Studies

 

 

 

Some screenshots of initial studies done with Ladybug’s Sunlight Hours analysis tools. Since this first set of studies, the pattern has increased in scale, which would change the amount of sunlight that reaches the facade during the day.

Note: Analysis done for the winter and summer solstices, during a 6 hour analysis period.

Projects

Impermanence and Parametric Modeling

 

The main concept of the BHD Star Cineplex, designed by Tram Anh Nguyen, is reflected through her perception of design in regards to impermanence. A direct correlation can be drawn from this concept to parametric design. Parametric design is a way to evaluate and refine a design through adjustment of various parameters that affect the final result of the model. Changeability is the goal of any parametric model. Seen through a wider lens, parametric modeling captures the lifespan of a design through the passage of time. And through the point of view of impermanence, one can investigate mutability, materiality, temporality and its effects on aesthetics through parametric design.

The parametric model for this project consists of a base pattern for the façade: a layered array of primitive shapes, such as a hexagon, triangle, and cube. These basic shapes can be designed and evaluated at various scales to create a pattern within the parametric model since inherently, patterns themselves are adaptable. Using these methodologies of mutability, the aesthetic value of these basic shapes is developed through the patterning of the façade.

In order to hone in on the materiality of the façade’s structure, the model can be run through Karamba, a structural analysis plugin for Grasshopper, which can determine the most optimal cross section of the individual structural members that comprise the modular design of the façade.

How temporality effects design can be visualized using Ladybug, an environmental analysis plugin for Grasshopper. By conducting Sunlight Hours studies, the building’s lighting usage can be optimized by knowing which areas on the façade receive the most sunlight within a six hour period, during the summer and winter solstices.

The flow of the design process, augmented by parametric design, and the idea of impermanent devices go hand in hand. Both are subject to the oscillations and transience in nature. The BHD Star Cineplex holds true to these philosophical concepts with its distinctively multilayered yet simple design process.

Current Projects

Tiling Surfaces

 

 

 

 

In order to properly orient the tiles at each point on the surface by the normal at that point, firstly the reference surface is offsetted. Finding the vector between the centroids by connecting them with a line gives us a base vector, as the line is interpreted as the base vector.

 

 

The point intersections from the base grid are then projected onto the secondary surface, and the same process of connecting the points to find the vector in between is done to get the normals.

 

 

The tile is then moved to each point intersection and oriented with the new normals, which results in all of the tiles oriented to the curvature of the reference surface.

 

 

Some of the main components used were Offset Surface, Vector from Two Points, Project Points, and Orient Direction.

Current Projects

Star-like Patterning

 

 

 

This modeling exercise involved a pattern found in indigenous Vietnamese weaving techniques with bamboo. The pattern was further deconstructed through a series of strips that are organized into several layers and horizontal/vertical connections. This creates a module that can be stacked, with interior glass panels that can be interchanged to create a more kaleidescopic effect.

Star_Module_04

Module with strips and glass panels

 

Star_Module_Front_03

Star-like Pattern