Optimisation of Skeletal Furniture

6.2.5.1 Aspects of Optimisation

The issues of strength analysis of furniture presented in the previous chapter are used for analysis or synthesis of interesting issues. In many cases, constructing furniture means creating a new whole from more or less known elements and joints. It is obvious that every subsequent decision made during designing should be the best decision. If the issue is simple, then it is correct, and even the best decisions can be taken on the basis of a general analysis of the object, designing experience and intuition of the designer. However, if the issue is complex, and the proposed con­struction is too complicated or the designer lacks the proper experience in designing, then it is appropriate to clarify the process of making the best decisions and searching for the best construction solution. Optimisation models can then be used.

When designing furniture, the selection of appropriate parameters takes place, for example destination, functional dimensions, material, elements, type and shape of joints. Some of the properties of furniture or its components may be undesirable—for instance high material consumption, high production costs, low strength of joints and low stiffness of the construction and large deflection of elements—or desirable, such as high durability and stiffness, low weight and overall comfort of use.

The construction being a result of the proceedings, the purpose of which is to obtain the minimum adverse effects or maximum desired effect is called an optimal construction. In such proceedings, we use mathematical models of optimisation and use mathematical techniques of optimisation. To build a good optimisation model of a complex construction task, with which designers deal with, is much more difficult and often requires much more experience than simply making structural decisions, particularly in the simple issues. Regardless of the development of mathematical methods and their more and more widespread use, construction remains an art, and optimisation methods are and will be the only effective accessory tool.