Membrane volume study


I’ve been looking at membrane tensile structures, specifically ones that work like volumes and not just as a flat surface (see pictures for reference). I was wondering if there was a way to replicate this in Rhino, perhaps in Kangaroo, I’ve only seen examples of this based on flat surface deformations so far, so if anyone can point me out in the right direction that would be much appreciated.


Check this out:


  1. Create some closed Blobs and turn them into TriMeshes (Subdivide as an option). DO NOT try to do “liquid” start objects: K2 does it for you (see first image below where a single concave rnd closed Mesh is used).
  2. Mastermind some Anchor policy (Pts from a Grid due to a Box? Some other thing? etc etc). If you want to work interactively/on the fly … you’ll need code (swap volatile <> persistent data etc etc). That way you can create some sort of history of variations.
  3. Mastermind some policy to define cables .
  4. Run K2 (Note: red/green: cables prior/after relaxation). If the Mesh is closed you’ll need 2 values for springs (i.e. springs for the clothed Mesh edges and springs for the cables). On the safe side add a spring value for naked edges (like in your 3rd Image).

Like (WIP: given an engulfing Truss (not shown) do some sort of tensile blob and then put inside something “like” an amphitheatre):

NOTE: If you are familiar with C# (level required: mid to advanced) I could provide an entry level take on that matter using, say, a recursively growing tetrahedron collection - minus the intrective part (that’s a bit complex to handle).

Check this topic:

Minimal surface - McNeel Forum

Thanks to all for all the great advice and links!!

I’ll be sure to check them out