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New journal paper in Automation in Construction

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Design and fabrication of a reusable kit of parts for diverse structures

A promising strategy to enable structural component reuse consists in designing a bespoke kit of parts whose elements are ready to be assembled in multiple structural arrangements, fulfilling different purposes. The ability to reuse kit-of-parts elements allows to manufacture only a subset of components compared to one-off constructions thus reducing material requirements.

This paper presents a new user-interactive computational workflow to design a kit of parts comprising linear bars and spherical joints that can be used to build a set of diverse reticular structures, e.g. trusses, gridshells, and space frames. In addition, a new formulation to optimize connection details with the objective to reuse spherical joints among different structures is introduced. Different to existing methods and construction systems, this workflow allows designing geometries that are not restricted to repetitive modular arrangements.

The method has been successfully applied to the design of a kit of parts to build three space frame structures. The spherical joints have been custom manufactured with an industrial robotic arm.

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