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Reciprocal Link: a new connection system for reciprocal frame structures developed by algorithmic modeling and digital fabrication

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Caio Magalhães Castriotto
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: Campinas, SP.
Institution: Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Faculdade de Engenharia Civil, Arquitetura e Urbanismo
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Maria Gabriela Caffarena Celani; António Paulo Teles de Menezes Correia Leitão; Ruy Marcelo de Oliveira Pauletti; Carlito Calil Júnior
Advisor: Felipe Tavares da Silva; Maria Gabriela Caffarena Celani

The civil construction industry is one of the main responsibles for the emission of greenhouse gases, consumption of natural resources and generation of solid urban waste. Therefore, it is essential to find more sustainable alternatives, one of them being the encouragement of the use of wood. However, understanding the materiality may not be enough to encourage the material use or to solve complex problems. One possibility to solve this issue is glimpsed in revisiting building systems that take advantage of the material’s characteristics. This is the case of Reciprocal Frame Structures (RFs), which allow the construction of large spans, using relatively short elements and a simplified assembly process. One of the main challenges of these structures is found in the connection mechanism between the parts, which can be the key to solve geometric and structural complexities. Thus, the goal of this research is the design of the Reciprocal Link: an algorithmic-parametric method, which automatically generates different arrangements of wooden RFs, combined with the creation of a new adaptive connection system imbued with the geometric complexity of the structures. For this, the research adopts the Design Science Research method, based on abductive processes that stimulate the creation of an Artifact. The theoretical foundation focuses on the themes of wood as a building material, changes in the production of architectural detailing, and digital design and manufacturing processes. Added to this is a Systematic Literature Review on RFs. The development pursued the consolidation of the products stipulated by the scientific method, with the comprehension of the main characteristics of the RFs and the guidelines for the connections; the creation and refinement of an algorithm, done in an iterative and incremental way; the generation of series of physical and virtual models, exploring geometric and structural aspects; and fabrication of a small pavilion, in a 1:1 scale, as a proof of concept. The obtained results indicate the full functionality of the algorithm, the realization of the Clamp Type connection system, and initial insights of the structural behavior and performance. Furthermore, reflections are made about the importance of incorporating the architectural detail in the early stages of the design process, as a mechanism capable of solving old and new problems. The main limitations found are related to manufacturing processes and structural aspects, but possible paths to overcome such obstacles are indicated (AU)

FAPESP's process: 19/04043-2 - Development of new connections for wood reciprocal frame structures: application by parametric and algorithmic systems and digital fabrication
Grantee:Caio Magalhães Castriotto
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)