Comment: Volker Mueller on Plank Lines

A comment by Volker Mueller on the post "Wrapping cones" was so interesting that I'm making it a post of it's own. Thank you very much Volker!

Hello Marten,
A curve that might behave the way you explore with strips of paper, rubber, or metal could be what is sometimes called a plank line (GC.BSplineCurve.PlankLine).
The idea of a plank line is that it bends in one direction, twists in the second direction, and is stiff in the third, like a thin but relatively broad board of wood.
Julius Natterer did structures like that (http://ibois.epfl.ch/page12022.html; I believe also the Polydome at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale Lausanne) and Judit Leuppi did some research about plank lines published as a paper at the ACADIA 2000 Conference (Plank Lines of Ribbed Timber Shell Structures; available from http://cumincad.scix.net/data/works/att/f197.content.pdf).
Another example of such a gridshell seems to be at the Weald and Down Open Air Museum in Singleton, Sussex (images at http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=all&q=downland+gridshell&m=text).
Volker Mueller

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