Structures Portfolio Kelsey McKenna | Dr. Michael C. Kleiss PhD

Project 1: Structural Equilibrium

In this project, my partner and I had to design a method for a 1 pound cube to be kept in equilibrium using only rods and string. We decided to try to use the least amount of structural supports that we could in order to acheive this. The cube is reasting on two rods that are slanted enough to be on two opposite corners of the cube. There is one string that goes over the top of the cube, keeping it stable on the rods. This cable kept the cube in tension while the rods kept it in compresion. The cube has gravity acting against it, needing the rods to keep it up. The rods alone could not hold the weight of the cube, so a cable/ string was applied to keep the cube in postion. Once the postion of the cube was reinforced by the string, it forced the cube to apply pressure to the rods which allowed the cube to stay in equilibrium from the force of the rods and string acting together.

Block supported by two rods and a string
Sketchs and diagrams of the cube
Working on the postion of the rods under the cube

Project 2- Structural Load Test

The maximum length allowed was desired to increase the amount of contact between the bridge and the tables. The main horizontal component was strengthened by layering three dowels rather than having a single one. This same technique was used with the arches to ensure their strength. To counteract the bowing that was going to occur with the application of the weights the use of arches were implemented. To further reinforce the strength of the arches, we chose to overlap them and stabilize their positions by placing bracing between the arches. The bracings were applied horizontally in between the arches as well as vertically. The friction created between the dowels helped maintain the placement and shape of the arches.

Sketch of the bridge

Cross bracing was used on the top of the bridge to help counteract the weight being applied. The bracing also strengthened the bridge by giving it more structural support than just a horizontal bracing would give since it was coming from two different directions. The arch was placed below the horizontal component since the weights would cause stress in the downward direction. The bridge weighed in at 0.123 lbs and was able to support a total of 12 weights that each weighed about 3 lbs. When the bridge finally gave out, it was at one glue point on the end of the arch that came apart.

Full view of the bridge
Bridge before the weights were added

Project 3- Truss System

This project had us create four truss systems that had to deal with different issues. We had create one the was symmetrical, one that had a change in pitch, an asymmetrical one, and a curved one. The symmetrical truss that I designed had bracing located in the same location on each side of the main bracing in the center. The curved truss needed more bracing on the curved portion of it, and this I realized after I had already designed it.

Project 4: Report on the Sydney Opera House

This project was a report on the structural components of a building of our choice. The building that I chose was the Sydney Opera House located in Sydney, Australia. I learned a lot about the structure of the Sydney Opera House and everything that Jorn Utzon had to figure out about it in order to create the shell and look he wanted. Below I have included the full write up of this report that includes load tracing diagrams and the analysis of two structural members.

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