Isogeometric analysis and form finding for thin elastic shells
Paper in proceedings, 2019
Recent developments within the design of shells have seen an increased interest in utilizing active bending as form giving procedure . This enables complex structures to be built from simple off-the-shelf materials. However, forming bending-active structures is highly dependent on the material properties, which makes the design process reliant on either physical testing or digital simulations. An associated problem with the simulation of this behavior is the lack of integration between modeling and analysis in conventional simulation techniques, a crucial concern since the final design is always an equilibrium shape with requirements on both structural and spatial integrity. IsoGeometric analysis (IGA) is a method that aims to bridge precisely that gap between analysis and design, making it a suitable method for bending active structural design. This paper suggests an approach to the modeling and digital design of actively bent shells using the implementation of nonlinear IGA. Further on, two different ways of controlling the geometry, either by tracing the process forwards or backwards during the construction procedure are proposed. Tracing the process forwards returns an implicitly controlled shell geometry through stepwise displacement of the boundaries of a at sheet. However, as a design approach, one is often interested in explicitly controlling the final geometry by a backwards tracing. This allows the designer to start from a desired outcome and instead tailor the material to approximate this desired form. The procedure is tested in a case study where a combination of both forwards and backwards tracing is included. Both processes apply the Kirchhoff-Love shell theory  and uses the total Lagrangian formulation for the nonlinear computations.