Optimisation of frame geometry

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As part of a structural modelling task, it was desired to create a space-frame structure with members as close as possible to the same length. An ASCEND model was created with the geometry as a set of equations, and the optimisation performed using the CONOPT solver. The resulting geometry was then output using PyGtkGlExt and OpenGL as a three-dimensional model that can be rotated in a viewer window, using the mouse.

For the following to work you need GtkGLExt and the corresponding Python bindings, PyGtkGLExt, installed. At least for Ubuntu 7.04 and Fedora Core 6, this is easily achieved using the standard package repositories. We haven't tried running this on Windows, although it should be fine: PyGTKGLExt has been ported to Windows.

screenshot of ASCEND model rendered as 3D wireframe using OpenGL

The model file that creates the above output is models/johnpye/frame.a4c combined with the script file models/johnpye/framevis.py for visualisation. This model depends on the ExtPy extension.