At the IABSE-IASS Symposium 2011 in London, I presented novel parametric tools for structural design in early stages. These have been developed at the Chair for Structural Design, ETH Zurich. Download the paper here.
Based on concepts of graphic statics, custom Grasshopper components have been implemented that allow for the interactive modelling of a planar funicular polygon in Rhino. Straight lines are interpreted as external forces, axial forces in the funicular are represented by tubes, red tubes are in tension, blue tubes are in compression. The tube section is proportional to the magnitude of the axial force.
These tools facilitate intuitive modelling of funicular, hence efficient, structural systems.