The form-finding process displaces the FE nodes of membranes and cables in space until the previously defined prestress is in equilibrium with the boundary elements. The resulting shapes utilize the used material extremely efficiently and are unique in terms of the force applied. In addition to a multiply curved membrane roof geometry subjected to tension in 3D space, this algorithm allows you to also determine the optimum element arrangement of a vault subjected to compression.
The form-finding analysis is possible in RFEM by using the RF-FORM-FINDING add‑on module. The program seeks the optimum element arrangement for tension and pressure loaded objects. This new force-based geometry is available with the active prestress for further calculation and determination of a cutting pattern.