Variable Geometry Truss

David Long*

Posted on Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 at 6:23 pm

A structural truss with a variable geometry that responds dynamically to eccentric loads.

This project researches the possibilities and feasibility of responsive structural system. It is a working prototype of a structural truss with a variable geometry that responds dynamically to eccentric loads. The design uses a swarm logic allowing each actuated truss member to continuously and independently adapt in response to local pressures measured and relayed by an array of sensors. Traditionally a structure is designed to resist the “100 year storm”. Only during this anomalous and rare event does the structure perform efficiently. At all other times, it is dramatically over engineered, using an excessive amount of material that is dormant except for one day in a century. The adaptive truss is in a continuous state of maximum performance using minimal material. The truss becomes literally a diagram of the loads it is responding to, transforming the space it occupies with each configuration.

*Advisor: Rodolphe el-Khoury


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