Design and Fabrication of Elastic Geodesic Grid Structures

Stefan Pillwein, Johanna Kübert, Florian Rist, Przemyslaw Musialski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


Elastic geodesic grids (EGG) are lightweight structures that can be easily deployed to approximate designer provided free-form surfaces. In the initial configuration the grids are perfectly flat, during deployment, though, curvature is induced to the structure, as grid elements bend and twist. Their layout is found geometrically, it is based on networks of geodesic curves on free-form design-surfaces. Generating a layout with this approach encodes an elasto-kinematic mechanism to the grid that creates the curved shape during deployment. In the final state the grid can be fixed to supports and serve for all kinds of purposes like free-form sub-structures, paneling, sun and rain protectors, pavilions, etc. However, so far these structures have only been investigated using small-scale desktop models. We investigate the scalability of such structures, presenting a medium sized model. It was designed by an architecture student without expert knowledge on elastic structures ordifferential geometry, just using the elastic geodesic grids design-pipeline. We further present afabrication-process for EGG-models. They can be built quickly and with a small budget.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - SCF 2020
Subtitle of host publicationACM Symposium on Computational Fabrication
EditorsStephen N. Spencer
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
ISBN (Electronic)9781450381703
StatePublished - Nov 5 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event2020 ACM Symposium on Computational Fabrication, SCF 2020 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Nov 5 2020Nov 6 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings - SCF 2020: ACM Symposium on Computational Fabrication


Conference2020 ACM Symposium on Computational Fabrication, SCF 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Applied Mathematics


  • architectural geometry
  • deployable structures
  • elastic deformation
  • elastic gridshells
  • fabrication
  • geometric modeling


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