Engineering is the key to realizing striking architectural designs

By AlRobertson

Founded twenty-five years ago, Octatube is a Dutch engineering and manufacturing company that works closely with architects to help them realize their ideas. The challenges in developing new structures and retrofitting older buildings are increased with the need to maintain compliancy with building codes and observe restrictions on historic buildings.

Octatube use Femap to help realize architectural designs
Octatube use Femap to help realize architectural designs

With Octatube buildings, the constructions are shipped as prefabricated elements and assembled on-site to avoid the need for welding, so design for prefabrication and the use of new types of building materials are important. Creating prefabricated elements for on-site construction requires robust, quality designs with tight tolerances to ensure trouble-free construction.

Octatube starts to use Femap with NX Nastran in the bidding phase of a project to carry out detailed design calculations. Calculations are geared towards optimizing design construction and material usage to minimize costs but without compromising creativity or customer design requirements. With project approval, engineering begins in earnest.

A big part of any construction is the need to minimize risk. Femap helps the Octatube engineers gain a realistic impression of how the materials will behave and minimize any potential on-site construction risks.

You can read the full case study to find out more about how Octatube takes advantage of engineering technology to realize architectural designs.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at