Generative Design and Automation of Steel Connections: End Plate Connection Design

Dr. Imanpour

Maha Essa


This video shows a case study on utilizing Generative Design in structural engineering, specifically steel connections using Rhino 3D software package. In this Grasshopper model for end plate steel connections, the user can input various information on bolts, material, shape, and the factored reaction which must be resisted by the connection. Using this information, the Grasshopper script builds the 3D model of the connection and calculates the five limit states. End plate dimensions (gauge, thickness and number of bolts) and fillet weld size are left as number sliders, which are then plugged into the Wallacei evolutionary solver as genes (variables). The solver then uses these variables (which control the connection capacity) and the factored reaction to iterate through thousands of design options and finds an optimum solution which results in a capacity very close to the reaction. This solution is presented to the user in a summary chart when the solver is finished running, and the 3D model is automatically updated.

Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering

University of Alberta

Edmonton, AB, Canada