Analytical and finite element methods are used in assisting our customers in the design of space frame type structures. Loads can include inertial, magnetic, pressure or gravity loading or different combinations of these and other types of loads. An example of a simple loading situation might be gravity only loading on a dish antenna, where the static displacement of the dish profile under gravity needs to be assessed to ensure it will not affect the antenna performance. A more complex loading example would be the dynamic loading of a mountain bike frame including pedalling and suspension loads.
The meshed model shown in the right hand picture is of a flight simulator motion base, where strength, rigidity, mass and cost are all important design drivers.
Often there are additional environment-driven requirements for using, or avoiding the use of certain materials. Examples might be space frames designed for use in the vicinity of MRI scanners, or sensitive field measuring equipment.