Panel clustering is the process of reducing the number of unique panel geometries to ease fabrication and reduce costs.

The process consists of:

  • Analysing the panel geometry and collecting  similar facade panels into groups or clusters.
  • A mother panel is created for each panel  cluster, which best represents all of the panels in a cluster, this can be thought of as an average of the panels within a cluster.
  • Each panel within a given cluster is then  replaced by its cluster’s mother panel.

The examples below show a panelised canopy structure with different numbers of clusters. A lower number of clusters will benefit fabrication complexity and reduce cost but may lead to higher deviations.

Understanding of acceptable deviation tolerances is important in this process such that the right number of clusters can be established. Further smoothing of the overall geometry can be employed to improve the deviations.