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[2023] Design and construction of kinetic structures based on elastica strips

Bi, M., He, Y., Li, Z., Lee, T.U., and Xie, Y.M., 2023. Automation in Construction, 146, p. 104659. [Link]

Ruled surfaces have been used to create kinetic designs capable of reconfiguring their shapes to adapt to the environment and enhance aesthetic qualities. However, many existing designs require complex mechanical systems and heavy construction. Simplifying the design and construction process using an elastic-kinetic approach is promising but remains underexplored.

This paper proposes a new strategy to rationalize kinetic designs with curved surfaces using a series of non-intersecting elastica strips bent to the minimum energy state. Complex 3D kinetic designs can be conveniently and parametrically modeled based on simple design parameters for 2D curves. The generated shapes are systematically classified into four categories. As a proof of concept, a full-scale kinetic pavilion was designed and constructed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method in realizing lightweight, high-speed, and cost-efficient construction. An extension of the proposed method to create interactive designs using sensors and actuators is also discussed.

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