Project 1: Structural Equilibrium
This project offered a set of challenges which include compression and tension. My partner and I wanted our model to look elegant while being sturdy. We started with the idea of having one block and one pole. We went through many studies before figuring out the best placement for the strings to hold the cube up away from the pole while trying to remain plum. Our biggest challenge, other than the weight of the load, was moment, in the cube and the pole. Also the lack of friction between the wire and wood offered a challenge as well.
Project 2: Structural Live Load Test
The model my partner and I created was very aesthetically pleasing but was not as successful as holding loads as I would have hoped. We knew that we wanted arches so that’s what we started with. We made crossing arches on top and bottom and then decided to make vertical cross bracings in the shape of an x along the length of the arches. Our biggest obstacle was making the bridge span enough distance with the materials we had. The bridge had to be a minimum of 24” and our dowels were only 24” long, so when we curved them to make the arches they actually spanned a distance shorter than 24”. We decided to add a second curved dowel on top of the existing ones at differing distances to extend the bridge to the proper length. I believe our greatest flaw in our design was the bridge did not sit level on a surface. Once a load was added, the unevenness allowed for torque. As soon a torque happened, everything failed. The cross-bracings were meant to withstand vertical loads, not twisting. While our model did stand out from the rest when it came to the way it looked, it was not memorable once it got put to the test. If I had the opportunity to redo this project I would make sure it was level all the way across, try to find longer dowels, and make the distance between the two sets of arches a little tighter.