Wednesday, May 2, 2012


This is a pretty unstructured collection of stuff I've been messing with. It started with a shade structure I needed for a real project.

The triangular sail is an adaptive component rigged up in the usual manner using spline-by-points to create reference lines.  Hosting points on these and controlling their fractional position along the line.  The main aim being to get a concave curve along the edge.

I had a nested post component with instance parameters for the height so the 3 posts could be popped up and down.  X & Y dims were also instance.  Gives a nice little family that can be copied around and varied, grouped etc.

Pretty simple stuff, knocked up on the fly in family editor, but it served its purpose.

There are lots of simplifications here.  The sail is completely flat & there's no connection detail.  This item was in the landscape consultant's scope of work so I didn't need to spend time on details.  Just get a simple representation into the model so we can see it in relation to the architecture.  But late last night I decided to take a shot at a better connection, with a cable & ring.

This is another nested adaptive component hooked up to a modified rig, with a few more points and lines to push the triangle away from the post so there's space to expose some cable.  I was trying to put a sweep along the curve to represent cable bound into the edge of the cloth, but I kept getting an error message and gave up around 11pm.  But it's getting there.

Then tonight it struck me that I have a 3 point adaptive component that is functionally equivalent to the Y columns I used in the previous post on divide & repeat.  So I took the sail just as it was and started playing with repeats.

It's all a bit random.  Not sure what the real-life application of this would be, but I had fun.  Which is usually a good sign.

Played with ellipses also. 

Instance parameters again so I can copy around freely and explore different combinations quickly.  Fairly quickly anyway, cos there's a bit of a recalculation delay as my laptop tries to figure out the revised geometry.

Maybe I will get a brainwave at the weekend about how to make these into useful construction elements, but at the moment they are looking more like lamp-shades or waste-paper bins maybe.

I went back to using 3 lines in the hope of getting some kind of extreme awning.  This time it's a family with 6 adaptive shape handle points.  You can vary the number of blades and push-pull both ends of the 3 defining lines to your hearts content.  Lots of fun was had, but its more like an Anthony Caro sculpture than a shading device I could use on a real building.

I'm starting to think there's too much going on.  Too many variables all at once and all you see is lots of weird triangles.  So what ?  Maybe I'll try again later and use more subtle variations.  But not tonight.


  1. Love your blog! Inspiring stuff

  2. nice post our company Versatile Structures provide high quality shade and sails in Australia


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