We developed a C# plugin for Grasshopper to solve joints of 'n' bars at an incoming point with a single surface. The plugin relies on a custom implementation of the marching cubes algorithm. This computer graphics application is then literally used for fabrication purposes.
Custom joint generation from a continuous mesh surface.
Mesh to Fabrication
This solution provides a low-cost pipeline for taking any arbitrarily complex mesh model and translate it to a physical wireframe prototype. Standard PVC pipes are used together with custom 3D printed joints.
The user provides an arbitrary input curve network.
The algorithm loads the curve network and translates it into a graph data structure. Next, reduced curves with desired joint length are extracted at each intersection. Then, a projection plane is approximated at each intersection.
The joint length is recalculated to react to incoming bar angle pairs. At each point, the marching cubes algorithm generates the point population, defined by the user according to desired resolution. Then, through a gaussian equation density values are calculated.
Each of the edges performs a FEM calculation using the Millipede engine.
Following the stress simulation, a mesh is fitted according to the density values in the marching cubes.
Once the surface is fitted, parameters can be modified to alter the final fabrication qualities of each joint. Joints are previewed in realtime.