Dynam(o)ite your Design for Engineers – part 1

For an engineer it is sometimes hard to follow the architects ideas on complex modelling. In the next example this architect demands for a double curved canopy roof for use as a shelter at the Millennium Railway Station, and he likes to call it the “Armadillo Roof” (our virtual project at the Autodesk EMEA NE team). The engineer and architect agreed to make use of trusses to span the width of 20 m and height of at least 7 m. No simple 2D lattice girders, but 3D triangular space frames. Sigh… modelling this with an equal center distance as individual complex trusses is hard work, even if you use Revit.

One: "Hey, haven't you ever heard of Adaptive Components?"
Me: "Yes, but I'm thinking ahead for the next episodes and want structural elements, with analytical lines and use cloud analysis, and ....so much more"

Structural Analysis for Dynamo - 1

Now, as an engineer I decided myself to use Dynamo to make something working and make it that way I’m prepared to eventual form changes by the architect. Yeah… classic one 🙂

Structural Analysis for Dynamo - 2

Which brought me to the idea of doing something with this geometry in Robot Structural Analysis, using the Structural Analysis package for Dynamo. Bring geometry, boundary conditions, loads, … to RSA directly from Dynamo using the Revit surface of the mass object… Hmm…

Structural Analysis for Dynamo - 3

To be continued…

Next time in “Dynamo for Engineers”: The engineer wants to get more out of this workflow and wants to make some decisions on structure sizes before starting the section optimization. Let’s hope this goes well…


12 thoughts on “Dynam(o)ite your Design for Engineers – part 1

    • Hi JB, at this moment the project is not ready yet. When finished the dataset will become available on several sites, including this one. But if you have a specific question, just drop me a message! Cheers, Dieter.

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  2. Really interesting stuff!
    I have a few questions, which I hope you’ll have time to reply to:
    1: First of all, I want to make sure I understand this right:
    You have your mass object in Revit – you then select/import it in Dynamo for Revit where you create the truss etc.- The data in Dynamo is then sent to Robot for analysis?

    2: How dynamic is this connection? Will the geometry in robot change instantly?

    3: Is it a one way connection, or is it possible to get a response from Robot, so that you in Dynamo can somehow use the size of forces in the design.

    4: Have you used any special packages, and are you able to give a few hints with regards to the connection with Robot?

    Thanks for uploading this really cool stuff! 🙂


    • Hi Timo,

      1. Yes, the basis is a mass object in Revit, which I use to select the face in Dynamo as reference.
      2. The change is dynamic that way, if you change some parameters in Dynamo, your RSA model is changing with it.
      3. It’s a two way connection. One way for geometry, the other way for result reporting
      4. The package that is used is called “Structural Analysis for Dynamo”. It’s on Autodesk Labs.

      I will share more of this in a next phase, since my project is not finished yet. So, keep an eye on the blog for more news to come.

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  8. It’s a wonderful job,I am a chinese and I hope I can learn many things from you. I’d also love a more detailed look at your node layout for one of the arches.can you give me it?

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