i-Mesh R&D
i-Mesh – Structural Design | Sample breaking-strength by directions

One of the most stimulating challenges for a computational designer is undoubted, in my opinion, finding solutions to problems. It is certainly of vital importance to first define the problem (problem making) and then, thanks to the inspiration and investigative sensitivity, implement strategies and techniques more suitable to solve the problem (problem-solving). If you want to learn more about the way in which digital is changing the profession of architect, you could find useful ideas here: D³ Awareness: from the Computational Thinking to the birth of a new Designer Professional Role


We return to i-Mesh and the need to provide the customer (and clearly the technical office) with a series of useful information in terms of samples, for i-Mesh the most communicative (and practical I add) format is the classic 200 mm sample per side.


From the very first interactions with the client/designer/architect for the development of a new geometric pattern, i-Mesh is able to provide an answer in a very short time. Timing and objectives, this was how I first thought of optimizing the production of the samples digitally. Starting from a simple wireframe (pattern elaborated by the pattern chief designer Filippo Sicuranza) and from this, I developed a definition capable of giving shape and substance to the simple lines (or if you prefer the quote of differential geometry: first degree curves with two points of control).


The algorithm then grew over time in order not to harness the creativity and recognisability of the pattern (also considering the randomization of the fibres by the percentage of material used).


In one of the latest additions, prompted by the business manager, I tried to consider the mechanical strength aspects of the fibres.
Two premises must be made, the first of a practical nature or the mechanical resistance tests were performed in several phases at the TextileHUB of the Politecnico di Milano, on the occasion of the experimentation of the membranes that would subsequently cover the entire main promenade of the Expo. of Dubai 20/21; the second premise is theoretical in nature, ie the calculations performed by the algorithm are authentic to a mechanical application of some trigonometric principles. The premises are necessary because the mechanical resistance results are functional to the direction of investigation and application of the theoretical load.
Actually, during the mechanical tests, the filaments never recorded breakage in the middle of the same but always in correspondence with the hydraulic jacks (the anchoring pliers).

The algorithm generally allows calculating two main directions orthogonal to each other (but it is possible to set any pre-selected angle), to enable a preview of the applied materials and consequently to consider the different contributions of resistance that each filament of different material can make to the simple sample of 200 mm per side.

The final output allows you to define a further upgrade of the technical datasheets that can be provided to the customer. I leave below a simple demo.


This algorithm applies some trigonometric concepts useful to define the breaking strength of the fibres used for a sample of dimensions 200 mm x 200 mm The data on the mechanical resistance of the single fibres covered with fluo-polymer were collected by appropriate test campaigns at the PoliMi TextileHub