Bending-active reciprocal structures: geometric parameters and their stiffening effect

Stijn Brancart, Olga Popovic Larsen, Lars De Laet, Niels De Temmerman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Bending-active reciprocal structures consist of elastically bent beams in a mutually supporting weave pattern in which each connection joins only two beams. Aside from the advantages for fabrication and assembly, this system has an extensive geometric potential, allowing reuse and reconfiguration. However, the load-bearing behaviour of these structures is limited by the required flexibility of the components. This paper discusses the impact of geometric parameters on the stiffness of bending-active reciprocal geometries for two cases: single-layered domes and double-layered components. It concludes by illustrating the use of the double-layered component for the development of a kit-of-parts structure: the ReciPlyDome. Thanks to the elastic capacity of the components and the very simple connections, the ReciPlyDome can be very easily and rapidly assembled and manufactured. This in contrast with the high technical complexity of many other kit-of-parts or grid structures. The analyses underline the importance of the form-force relationship when developing bending-active reciprocal structures and show the potential of active bending for the development of pre-assembled beam components. This research is framed within the wider scope of developing lightweight, transformable and temporary structures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIASS 2018 Boston Symposium: Active bending: New hybrids
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventIASS 2018: Annual Symposium of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures : Creativity in Structural Design - Boston, United States
Duration: 16 Jul 201820 Jul 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of IASS Annual Symposia
ISSN (Electronic)2518-6582


ConferenceIASS 2018: Annual Symposium of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Active bending
  • design for stiffness
  • geometry
  • lightweight structures
  • parameter study
  • prototyping
  • reciprocal frame structures
  • transformable structures


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