A structural surface prototype with varying structural properties that has been adapted to its specific loading requirements has been designed using finite element analysis tools in Grasshopper for Rhino. The goal of this project is to design a method for reducing the amount of material required to achieve an acceptable structural strength. This is done to reduce construction costs and provide the capability to form surfaces that existing construction materials are incapable of. This research involved the analysis of carbon fiber's material performance using finite element methods to guide decision making regarding the prototype's construction. This digital prototype shows the potential applications and formability properties using the optimization method explored. A proof of concept pedestrian bridge constructed of fiber-reinforced polymer in a non-traditional form is presented.
Smentek, B.; Javed, A.; and Lee, D., "Structural optimization using FEA tools" (2014). Focus on Creative Inquiry. 86.