optimized frameworks

Academic research

University of Oklahoma

Fall 2017


Parallam PSL (Parallel Strand Lumber)

Waterjet-cut steel plate






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This expressive timber-framed structure was designed using a computational topology optimization routine, with the goal of orienting a series of struts to for maximum structural efficiency. The result of this design process is that the timber struts are non-orthogonal, joining at complex angles other than 90 degrees. This required the development of a joinery system that could accommodate these angles as well as allow each connection to be geometrically unique.

Steel plate components were cut with an abrasive waterjet and welded into joint assemblies. By always having at least three plate surfaces coming together at every vertex, and keeping the edges of the components perfectly aligned during welding, the proper joint angles are guaranteed.