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Rayaan Ajouz: "A configurator is worth more than 10.000 words."

Weight optimization analyses are the norm to cut steel structures' costs. They aid structural engineers to slim structures, lessen wastes and spare money.

Still, problems can surface if these analyses neglect structural joints. If steel contractors design them in a bubble, the result may mismatch with the optimized structure. And force engineers to restart from scratch. 

It is a vast waste of time and money that can make the project go downhill. Especially if structural engineers have approved the design with architects and installation advisors. 

To close this gap, Bouwen met Staal is researching how to integrate structure and joints analyses in one model and show to the industry the benefits of optimizing cost rather than weight.

As part of the research project, Packhunt helped Bouwen met Staal to design an online configurator of a steel K-joint to promote parametric connections. 

With a simple click, the configurator can show at a glance the ranging options for welded joints with different dimensions and angles.

To discuss the potential of this configurator, Rayaan Ajouz, a structural engineer from Bouwen met Staal and ABT, joined us today to tell us about his experience of collaborating with

Rayaan Ajouz

Rayaan Ajouz

Structural Engineer, Bouwen met Staal and ABT



What brought you and Packhunt together to develop this configurator?

“To educate viewers on the benefits of using parametric design for steel connections. Many variables, such as gaps or overlaps, can impact the cost of steel connections and explaining it through words can be difficult. The configurator aids viewers to grasp at a glance the items to consider when including welded joints in your steel structure. They say that a picture tells more than a thousand words; I think that a configurator tells more than ten thousand words.”

Bouwen met staal diagram

So, Bouwen met Staal included the configurator in its website for a promotional purpose?

“Yes, we want to promote parametric design as the new way to design steel structures. Through these kinds of demonstrators, it is easier to convince your audience. You can design the model in Grasshopper, but not everyone is familiar with this software. An online configurator gives the same experience to everyone.”

Do you plan to continue developing the configurator in the future?

“We want to expand the page on parametric steel connections and display more configurators. Packhunt invited me to join a course to build configurators some weeks ago. Upon completing it, I can develop my own configurators and use my experience to customize them further.”

What role did Packhunt play in the development of this configurator?

“I sent my Grasshopper script to them, and they sent me back an HTML code to embed into the site. I copied and pasted the link, and saw the magic happen.”

For instance?

“By adapting its look to our preferences. Also, based on a lecture I gave at the TU Delft, the next configurator I would like to develop is for a welded connection between two plates. The welding volume is determined by the welds throat thickness and the angle of inclination between the connected plates [see figure above, e.d.]. Such a configurator can show that obtuse angles and larger throat thickness require more welding volume and increase prices.”

What did you and Bouwen met Staal gain from collaborating with Packhunt?

“Within my research to optimize costs for steel structures, I develop parametric scripts in Grasshopper. Bouwen met Staal and I lack the knowledge to translate these scripts into an interactive visualization for our website. Packhunt aided us with this task, and the result looks wonderful.”

And what do you hope to achieve in the long run?

“We carried out this research to promote collaboration within the steel construction industry. Promoting parametric cost analyses could help projects to cut costs and spare time in the long run.”


Thank you, Bouwen met Staal!

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