Jiahui Qiu - Module 8 - Part 2

STructGEN - New Generation



StructGEN, is a generative (parametric) tool for both geometrical and structural model. The tool aims to help designers reduce repetitive work and bring insights & guidelines with several metrics.

The tool is supported by both CEE220C & CEE222 class. And the structural design is based on my work in AEC Global Teamwork 2023 Island Team. It is a two-way cantilever structure with steel moment frame and eight different functional component groups are set up to meet the real design requirements. More structural template will develop in the near future to support varios design needs.

As for the user, we give you full flexibility to adjust the geomertical of model, section options for different component groups and load condition. The key highlight of this tool is the fine coordination with Revit and analysis model, which avoids a lot of back and forth modification. Besides, the structural performance, cost and life cycle assessment will also reflect with the model.

Demo Video

(Sorry for slightly longer than the requirements, the tool takes some time to run)

Commentaries for the Dynamo Scripts

Part 1 : GeometryGEN

For the GeometryGEN, it mainly consists four tasks: geomtery generation, material attachment, analysis preparation and structural analysis. The main procedures are marked as blue in the design graph below :

  • Input : As present in the left plot, I set up three types of inputs: geometry, section and structural. The geometry is control the basic shape (sizes, grid, span, height, floor height, and etc). The custom input for grid and level lists are provided for more flexible design. Due to the complexity of this structural design, eight groups have been used for different componenets (exterior columns|beams, interior columns|beams, auditorium columns|beams, secondary beams and braces), which give more freedom to the designer to adjust their sizes. As for the structural inputs, in this example, I consider the live load, therefore, it can be adjusted to the user’s demand.
  • Geometry Generation (shown in above right figure) : The geometry actually presents the physical logic of the designers. I just transform these rules into different logic. For example, the ground floor exterior columns are located at the perimeter, but one span inside the most outer grid. The rest floor exterior columns are located at the most outer two grid rectangle. By exploring the pattern, the geometry can be organically set up. It really costs a lot of time in thinking the mathemetical expression. A custom node has been designed for geometry generation.
  • Section Attachment : As I said in before, eight groups of components have been used for the structural. SInce geometrical model doesn’t have physical meaning, therefore we have to set up section for different geometrical lines. Revit has catergorized the structural members into columns, beam and braces.
  • Analysis Preparation: However, it still one steps away from the structural model that can be used for analysis. The revit element needs to be converted to analytical bars. Also, the connection releasement and loading case are required. A custom node is also designed for the analysis preparation part. The Robot and Revit have different naming convention for the HSS section, so it needs to be alerted.
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  • Structural Analysis : Originally, the structural analysis are going to be another dynamo scripts. Due to complexity of my structure, revit can’t individually select different eight groups. But, I set a boolean node to control (input) to decide whether to run the structural analysis since it needs a lot of computation sources. All revelant information are gathered in a list for the structural analysis. The Robot Structure has been invoked and sturctural model are also demonstrated in there. User can get more analysis results from there.
Robot Structure My diagram
Robot Structure My diagram

Part 2 : Cost Analysis

More analysis can be set up in this dynamo script. They can be seperated from the geometry generation script. For example, the cost, LCA, solar, wind analysis. In this example, I use the cost to explain the idea. The elements can be extracted from the revit model and by getting the parameters from the model, we can further do some analysis. I set separeted unit cost for the columns and beams.