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Altair Engineering, Troy, Michigan, United States

Monday 27 Feb 2012

Connecting structure and form

Luca Frattari 
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Altair Engineering demonstrate the importance of the structural form 

It is very difficult to describe the essence of structural form, because it is totally influenced by two such precise concepts. Interesting examples might be represented by the study of Greek architecture, in which structure and form were strictly connected. It is possible to say that Greek structural form stems from mathematical rules and have produced the beauty when the rules were used in architecture.

Technology has shown how much the form of an object is influenced by its structure and how much the structure of the same object is influenced by the form of its fundamental parts. Thinking about a crystal of snow, the borderline between structure and form seems to be very thin; it almost disappears.

The main aim of the PEGASUS bridge project was to create a structural form exploiting the potential of numerical analysis with new concept design. The proposed bridge has been designed to cross Big Beaver Road (Troy, Michigan, USA). The project has been focused mainly on the development of an organic-like structure that satisfies structural and aesthetic criteria exploiting the application of Altair's technology in achitecture creating a strong interaction between CAE and CAD and RP systems.

Altair's solid thinking Inspire, Optistruct and HyperMesh have been used to define the support structure (50 metres long) and its shelter. The developed methodology is based on five easy steps: (1) Creation of a standard steel-deck. (2) Finding the architectural Structural Form of columns and shelter by using a topology optimisation procedure. (3) Skin (columns) and Shelter re-design. (4) Improve skin by using size optimisation to reduce the thickness of the steel components saving material without compromising on the structural performance. (5) Verification of the entire structure subjected to standard design actions.

Key Facts

Status Concept design
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
Altair Engineering

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