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Form-finding is the process of finding a structural configuration capable of a state of self-stressed equilibrium – when tension and compression stabilize the structure.
Before the use of computers, these equilibrium shapes could only be found through cumbersome physical models.
As technology has advanced, numerical methods have evolved to solve for the optimal shape.
Tensegrity (tensional integrity) is a structural principle where rigid elements (struts) under compression are held together by a network of elastic elements (cables) under tension.
Tensegrity structures have many applications in modelling the natural world.
In this thesis, we use an efficient fitness function and genetic algorithms to find the stable state of a tensegrity structure.
Through our form-finding application, we aim to promote the use of computer simulation, and collaboration between tensegrity researchers.
The thesis is submitted on the basis of papers published between April, 1974 and July, 1976 (chapters 2-8).
Minor editing of the papers has been carried out for the sake of continuity of the thesis as a whole.
In this thesis, a method of designing these complex structures is proposed.
By an analytical approach, an efficient structural column can be made and multiple optimization strategies are proposed. In the final chapters of the thesis, an example of a design is made using this strategy.