Parametric optimalisation of constructional parts

Hello Dynamo BIM forum, I’m doing my thesis on parametric design and I’d like to consult all of you before consolidating the ideas for my research subject, since most of you have a lot more experience & knowledge in this field than I do.

Here’s my plan:
creating a model with parametric input that will optimize the dimensions of constructional parts ( for now: floors beams and columns). This optimization will be done using a feedback loop ( most likely trough Excel) and will look something like this:

dimensional input -> calculations -> check if the resulted dimensions are under- or overdimensioned -> adjust dimensional input –> loop back with adjusted dimensional input

I am aware of the possibilities for creating this kind of model in Rhyno + Grasshopper + Karamba but have decided I want to discover the possibilities to do this kind of dimensional optimization with Dynamo + Revit as base programs, since a lot of companies in Europe are very Autodesk oriented, as far as I know.

The calculation program’s I have considered using:

  • Sofistik – no loop functionality as far as I know.
  • React Structures – seems to be still under development or even discontinued? (bummed about this one, looked great).
  • Robot structural analysis, works together with a specific dynamo package, but have heard mixed opinions on Robot structural analysis itself.
  • Excel – not only using Excel as loop program but actually doing calculations in excel, requires a lot of work in Excel since every calculation has to be written. Upside of this method is that future users of the model most likely already have this installed.

If any of you have suggestions for using (or not using) a specific calculation program or just some tips regarding this subject, please let me know. I greatly appreciate your time and any feedback I get.

I would consider using the Optimo package for this. Optimo is a multi objective genetic algorithm solver. It’s not exactly as user-friendly as Galapagos, but it works pretty good. This can be used in combination with Robot. For some references, see here:

and my own take on this, however silly example…:

See also this thread: Learning Optimo + Robot Structural Analysis

React is not continued, so I wouldn’t put my eggs in that basket.

Optimo looks really cool and seems to have a lot of potential for optimizing multiple fitness variables. I’m wondering if it’s worth going trough the trouble of setting up Optimo since I’m only going to optimize on 1 fitness (amount of material used), but I think it is.

Thanks a lot for your input, greatly appreciate it.

A lot of it is really boiler-plate stuff so I wouldn’t be too worried about that. the real challenge lies in how you structure your lists in the fitness-functions in order to make it work. I’ll let you decide if it’s worth it! :slight_smile:

I would tell you the same about Optimo, it seems to be very usefull for you! I work with 3D modeling of steel structures (Advance Steel) and I’ve played a bit with Optimo to optimize beams positioning, it did not took me too much effort to make it work, just had to read some articles as well.
This could be a start:

Hi Ricardo, I’m tried to use Optimo but my efforts have not been rewarded. Can I ask you some question about it?

Sure! I’m not an expert on it, but I’d help you as long as I can

Hello everyone.
I’m trying to do something similar to the process that Daan.duppen talked about as it is my final year project.
I’ve tried with Rhino+Grasshopper and Sofistik but I think it will not work well since I can’t find how to create a loop functionality.
So I would like to know if someone has achieve such a process before starting other options and finding out it isn’t possible.
Would you mind helping me please?

P.S. : I’m using a non-linear material, that’s why I thought about Sofistik as an appropriate FEA software.