Discover parametric design to understand its pivotal role in modern structural engineering applications. We invite you to watch a webinar recording on topology optimisation, the nuances of parametric models, and expert tips to take advantage of the great synergy between Grasshopper’s capabilities and our FEM-Design API. Together, they create a potent environment where you can produce innovative, adaptive, and efficient solutions for today’s challenges, such as CO2 emissions, material weight and costs.

In this webinar recording, you will see different approaches that can be applied to various scenarios, including optimisation, parametric structures, preliminary design, and iterative exploration. Grasshopper provides an interactive platform for engineers to experiment with different parametric inputs, enabling real-time visual feedback.

Project task: optimising a parametric timber truss with multiple variables

As a showcase before you watch the webinar recording, we crafted a timber truss defined by 4 unique variables. This method is a practical approach to topology optimisation, allowing us to restrict potential designs due to manufacturing constraints. This ensures that the resulting optimised structure doesn’t look like a warped alien spaceship.

The parameter settings resulted in an overwhelming 100,000 potential designs – far too vast to explore. That’s when specialised workflows come into play. We leveraged design groups within the FEM-Design API, ensuring uniformity in the truss elements above and below the main beam. Furthermore, we made FEM-Design to automatically design each configuration, aiming for effective solutions that utilise less than 100% of the cross-sectional capacity.

parametric timber truss

We decided to optimise the design regarding timber weight to minimise material. Still, you can create another function to optimise for costs, deflection, CO2 emissions, or, why not, a combination of them all.

The purpose of the example above is to showcase that you can utilise the FEM-Design API to tackle typical structural engineering challenges without being particularly good at coding.

The topics you’ll discover by watching the webinar recording:

  • Advanced topology optimisation: Dive into optimising design while considering key parameters like CO2 emissions, the weight of materials, and cost implications.
  • Excel at the fundamentals: Learn the art of setting up your model for success.
  • Machine learning decoded: Grasp the technique to select the ideal machine learning algorithm tailored to your needs.
  • Multi-objective optimisation: Understand the details of using multi-objective optimisation tools for holistic design solutions.
  • Parametric CLT shell structure: Discover an end-to-end workflow within Grasshopper, from creating a comprehensive parametric model, running analysis and design stages in FEM-Design to seamlessly extracting results back into Grasshopper.
  • Efficiency in concrete design: Explore preliminary concrete design, leveraging interaction surfaces for a streamlined workflow. This segment covers initial design stages, Grasshopper-based design via interaction surface tools, and full design using FEM-Design.
  • Iterative analysis with C#: Stay ahead of the curve with techniques for iterative analysis using C#.

This dynamic process between Grasshopper and the FEM-Design API will encourage you to explore many design possibilities quickly. Doing structural optimisations has never been easier!

This webinar was hosted by our experts Isak Björhag, Business Development Manager, and Marco Pellegrino, API developer, in collaboration with The Institution of Structural Engineers UK.

Watch the webinar recording and see the power of parametric design

Familiarise yourself with FEM-Design and its API capabilities

If you’re unfamiliar with our software FEM-Design, you can apply for a free trial and see how it can help you solve your engineering challenges. Getting a license is simple and automated so you can benefit from the power and speed of our full 3D structural analysis software right away.

Get to know FEM-Design’s API capabilities by reading the dedicated webpage here. You can also get the FEM-Design API and read its documentation at the links below.

Click here to download the FEM-Design API.

Read the API documentation here.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Our dedicated support team is ready to help you.

We look forward to your amazing results with FEM-Design API and Grasshopper!

If you are interested in finding out more about FEM-Design and would like a free trial please click the Get a Free Trial Button.