SMATS: Sketch-Based Modeling and Analysis of Truss Systems
The present work intends to introduce a domain-specific sketch method for modeling and analysis of forms and structures of trusses concurrently. The main contribution of the research presented here is the development of a computer-assisted structural modeling tool where the structure can be sketched, subjected to loads, a structural analysis is performed, and the results can be observed. The Sketch-based Modeling and Analysis of Truss Systems (SMATS) allows the user to test what if scenarios in real-time by using simple sketches. To interpret the sketch and extract data for a structural analysis, SMATS uses a gesture recognition algorithm. The results are then brought back to the same environment for visualization in terms of color/thickness-code and animation. Moreover, the interactive environment of the user interface (UI) allows the user to manipulate the design and observe the outcome of the changes on the truss structural behavior. SMATS is developed for the particular use of architects, aiming to provide them a natural environment to present and appraise structural configurations of different truss systems by means of sketching. Iterative usage of the method will give architects, engineering perspective about the class of structures used here. The approach is intended to optimize the conceptual design of trusses by bridging architectural vision in creating forms, and engineering analysis. It also helps architects gain better understanding of the effect of variation in form on structural behavior of trusses. In addition to its application as a design tool, SMATS can be used as an effective educational tool. Architecture students have used it to learn about the fundamentals of structural engineering in building structures classes.