Sub-Grids - 2010

3D grids could be a useful design tool for component-based systems that work with a variety of quantity in a limited or controlled variation in geometry. A simple 3D grid defines the location and scale of each component and the quantity and the relation between the components. If all the components within the system are identical and changes in the scale are minor, a simple 3D grid could well do the work; but this is usually not the case and that’s when introducing the idea of grids-in-grids or sub-grids seems to be necessary.

The first important thing when working with 3D-grids is detaching the grid from the component. Separate development of the grid and the component[s] will allow you to focus on macro scale and micro scale of the system independently. The grid would take care of the overall arrangement, the relationships, the adjacencies, and the macro space, and the component would define the micro space.

But the elements of a component don't essentially follow directly their parent, once the changes in the scale happen. A smart system is the one that controls these elements independently of the whole of the component, and that’s what the sub-grids are for. Sub-grids will allow a second or third level of differentiation to the elements of the components within the system. This is the only way to guaranty that the trans-scaling in the system is happening rationally and correctly.

Let's also not forget that all the components within the system won’t be always the same. The topological differentiations are always helpful. Especially if the transition in the scale is considerable, one always needs to allow for hyper-deformations. If so, the system will actually be of no success without the sub-grids.