Conference paper

Curved Folded Plate Timber Structures

This work investigates the development of a Curved Origami Prototype made with timber panels. In the last fifteen years the timber industry has developed new, large size, timber panels. Composition and dimensions of these panels and the possibility of milling them with Computer Numerical Controlled machines shows great potential for folded plate structures. To generate the form of these structures we were inspired by Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. Common paper tessellations are composed of straight creases. First curved paper models were studied by Joseph Albers and his students in the preliminary course of the Bauhaus. Later, David Huffman explored the form finding possibilities offered by curved creased origami. To form curved creases, we use a model developed to create doubly corrugated surfaces with straight creases and planar faces. This model has been developed to build folded plate structures by assembly of planar timber panels. Doubly corrugated surfaces are defined by the corrugation profile and the cross section profile, where the corrugation profile defines the geometry of a simply corrugated surface and the cross section profile it’s bending in space. However, using undulating corrugation profiles, curved creased origami structures can be generated. Within the scope of this work, curved origami figures are used to develop a structural and load bearing timber component. The proposed element is composed of multiple layers, in order to bend the timber panels and to procure the necessary structural stiffness of the element. Our investigations examine the joint geometry of the bent multi-layer surface and its. Experimental investigations are conducted on a simple geometry (see fig.1), which is composed of three simply curved timber panels. A series of prototypes analyse the feasibility of curved folded plate structures with timber panels in terms of design, manufacturing and montage. Further investigations have to show the structural behaviour of such elements and how multiple elements can be used for roof structures.

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