Karamba3D Plugin Course: Advanced Parametric Structural Engineering

Simulation and Analysis

Master advanced structural engineering techniques with our Karamba Grasshopper Plugin Course. Learn to optimize concrete shells, perform finite element analysis, and more.

Judyta Cichocka

Judyta Cichocka

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Why take this course

In this course, Judyta Cichocka teaches you more advanced uses of Karamba 3D, a parametric engineering plugin for Grasshopper. In this course, you will explore strategies for the design, form-finding, and optimization of concrete structures.

The course is intended for architects and engineers interested in structural art, form-finding, and computational methodologies for the design of concrete structures. It’s recommended to have prior knowledge of Grasshopper and Karamba3d. However, it is possible to complete the course without them. This course will introduce students to the concept of structural art and the creativity of structural design.

After the course, students understand the concept of topology optimization and strategies for form-finding.

Learn why Karamba 3D is a powerful structural engineering plugin

Karamba3D is a Finite Element program like many others. However it has advantages over these in several important respects: It is easy to use for non-experts, has been tailored to the needs of architects and engineers in the early design phase. Karamba3D is fully embedded in the parametric environment of Grasshopper. This makes it easy to combine parameterized geometric models, finite element calculations, and optimization algorithms like Octopus or Galapagos.

Learn how to use evolutionary topology optimization of concrete structures

In the first lessons, you will work on an example project called the Mao Haus by AntiStatics Architecture. You will be designing and optimizing the shape of this free form facade using Karamba. Before jumping into the example project you will go over some simple cross-section optimization of timber and steel trusses.

Learn to generate funicular shapes using large deformation analysis

In the next lessons, you will be designing and optimizing funicular concrete shells. The Aichtal outdoor theater by Heinz Isler Architects will be used in this example. After a quick introduction, you will learn to analyze the force lines going through the concrete shell.

Learn to check using Finite Element Analysis that the structure is in compression only

After being more familiar with the design of concrete shells, you will learn how to analyze and optimize shells to be compression only. You will understand where the maximum principle dresses are located, bending moments, and normal forces.

Learn how to apply multi-objective optimization for fabrication and improve its overall performance

The last part will focus on how to use multi-objective optimization to create constructible concrete shells. Los Manantiales Restaurant by Felix Candela will be used in this example. You will learn how to create a hyperbolic paraboloid surface and how to set up an FE model in Karamba to do a structural analysis and optimize the result.