One of the joys of working in an architectural practice like Dark is there’s a slight chance I actually get asked to design something one day.
I was recently challenged to produce a proposal for a glass ceiling on a project I work on. After some playing around with different surfaces I decided to try out a few methods for working with patterns and repeaters in Revit. Inspiration came over time through Zach Kron’s posts Space Frame Quickie, Pattern Deformation and Adaptive Components: From Data to taDa!. I love it when digital exercises give me ideas to combine different modeling approaches. With this truss system I wanted the bottom form to lay out as a sphere, I wanted to be able to control the placement and size of the sphere and of course have a Parameter for use in Image-O-Matic.
The layout of the Adaptive Component family is more or less identical to Mr. Kron’s examples, only (again) with slightly more sophisticated math. This time, however, I was prevented to arrive at the best solution on my own and had to seek help elsewhere.
Luckily, I’ve got some really smart colleagues, and the very clever Lars Ribbum at Dark Architects was able to provide creative advice. The math is strong with this one, and some Pythagoras made everything simpler than I initially thought would be necessary.
These equations basically make the four corner points form a round sphere in conjunction with their neighboring components. The parameter Hmin defines the narrowest distance between the glass surface and the “sphere”. I also added a parameter (Constant) to be able to scale the whole movement and sphere size, just in case.
The entire model is made up from a Mass with a Divided Surface, a Reference Point, and an Adaptive Component with beautiful math. The Reference Point and Adaptive Component is built up so that the point continually defines the “top of the sphere”. Like in Zach’s exercices, this one “loose” Reference Point can be moved around in different ways. It can be moved manually, like I’ve done in the image below.
Or it can be hosted on different reference geometry, and in turn given new math.
In these animated examples, I put an angular constraint to the position of the Reference Point, and used Image-O-Matic to illustrate it’s movement around.
And with the virtual sphere visualized.
The glass ceiling proposal was never used, and I guess my design career is taking it’s time to hit of, but I do enjoy playing around with these tools. And I love animating math!
Download Mass family (with virtual sphere): Space Frame the Vasshaug Way