DDC-make: Arch-tech solutions

Geodesic Gridshell Pavilion Configurator

Geodesic gridshell pavilion is a research and educational project developed at the Department of Architecture and Digital Design Center, University of Novi Sad, Serbia. The aim of the project is to develop collaborative tools for students and architects without previous 3D and parametric skills to design and fabricate complex pavilion shapes. For this reason, we create a Geodesic D-strip gridshell 3D Configurator.  

What is a gridshell?

A gridshell is a lightweight structure made of a grid instead of a solid surface, which derives its strength from its doubly curvature structure. Geodesic gridshells use geodesic curves on the surface for creating gridshell networks. Geometrical properties of geodesic curves enable fabrication of inexpensive gridshells with flat straight boards.

In this online 3D configurator you can see how the shape of the pavilion can be created from given mesh as a hanging chain model. Through its shape,  the pavilion is designed to carry loading as efficiently as possible, resulting in an efficient, selfsupporting structure, able to span large distances using minimum material input.

Geodesic Gridshell: Online Cloud Design and Fabrication

In our educational experiment, students without any previous 3D modeling experience easely created various design solutions as it is shown on image and thanks to the 3D online configurator, user can export manufacturing drawing with one-click button. Some design solutions exported from parametric 3D configurators are shown below. 


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In the next design to fabrication phase, students use laser cutter to fabricate D-strips and Fologram app with Microsoft Hololens to create scale models in mixed reality environment.  Fologram app with Hololens enabled users precise position of  D-strips in mixed reality, making assembly process easier.

After 5 ours onsite workshop, few gridshell pavilion models were finished

Pavilion models

Try our 3D configurator and make your own gridshell!

Instructions for creating geodesic shell with 3D configurator:

Create a simple horizontal mesh which can be used for creating pavilion floor plan. Create close curves that intersect mesh. Curves will be used for locating pavilion openings. Export mesh to .obj file. If you are using Rhino, use the following parameters from the illustration for exporting to .obj. Export curves to dxf files. Upload mesh and curves to the 3D pavilion configurator and play with geodesic curve patterns.

Geodesic pavilion 3d Configurator

For the advanced digital form-finding experiments you can use subdivided mesh from the previous 3d configurator, create additional holes and openings with the curve, as it is shown on the image. However, you have to be careful with the number of polygons due to limited computation time in the cloud. It is recommended to use mesh with less than 100 polygons. Image below shows the shape resulting from the advanced​​  digital form-finding method. 

Self-supported shape

Project is supported by:

ShapeDiver–  web3D parametric design platform

Fologram, mixed reality experience app

Digital Design Center, Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad

Idea Lab, University of Novi Sad