Project Description


Over the last decades there has been an excessive use of material with the construction industry as largest consumer. An approach on economizing material is implementing active control of structures. This approach is based on the principle of removing material and compensating with an adaptive system over time. In this final master project active control is applied on concrete structures, since this material is the most used building material. Therefore, optimizing concrete structures can greatly improve our society.

Topology optimization is used to benefit from the property that concrete is relatively easy to shape, and to profit from upcoming digital manufacturing techniques (e.g. 3D concrete printing, CNC milling of molds). In addition, topology optimization allows to efficiently remove material from the structure.

The result of this thesis is a topology optimization model for continuum structures with an integrated adaptive system. Concrete structures are in some cases pre-stressed with tendons. Adaptation is accomplished by controlling the magnitude of the pre-stress force real-time. In addition, the dead to live load ratio of concrete structures is relatively high, therefore, the dead load of the structure is taken into account.

The model takes into account the adaptive system by updating its state in every iteration of the optimization process for every load condition. The model results an optimal topology for the multiple load conditions and the corresponding state of the adaptive system that is different for every loadcase. The presented model can be extended with multiple constraints functions. Examples are shown with a restriction on the magnitude of the adaptive pre-stress force.

My thesis and final presentation can be found here and here. On Vimeo more video’s can be found of the optimization processes.