STRUCTURES 1 A portfolio by Lydia Gandy

Project 1: Objects in Equilibrium

The first project of the semester was designed to help us learn how to design a static structural model that revolves around the concepts of equilibrium, load distribution, gravity forces, lateral stability, and the separation of tension and compression. We were restricted by the following parameters: “You will use a cube, or series of cubes as deadweight (load), and support them with a combination of strings/cables (tension) and rods (compression). The cube must be supported only by a combination of tensile and compressive elements. No glue is allowed on this model.” Me and my partner Joseph Sherer accomplished this with 3 major components.

First, we supported the cube on one side with two small sticks which used compression to counteract half of the forces that would pull it down. In addition, two strings were added to hold up the adjacent side of the cube and then wrap up the top to both better hold the cube up and keeping the string from slipping. The sting was strung up and around two poles. Both the angle of the poles and the string were strategically placed to counter act the forces that would pull the cube and shorter sticks and cause the structure to fail. All together, we created a static equilibrium model.

Top left: Sketches leading up to our design; Top right: Process; Bottom: Final
Project 2: Building Bridges

In this project, we were challenged to create a bridge that was graceful, strong and efficient. Together, Lucjan, Hayden and I created a bridge that was light and strong and ended up hold twelve weights. To design the bridge we had to start with deciding on a pattern to use for the sides. We decided on a pattern that looked something like the sketches below. We developed this pattern with vertical bracing to act against forces that would pull on the horizontal sticks and diagonal bracing in between those to keep the vertical bracing in place as well as keep the strip from rotating or racking. We used this on the two vertical sides of the bridge as well as the top to keep the bridge from twisting. We used as simple bottom with horizontal sticks placed three inches apart, which kept the bridge from folding in on itself. To add strength, we gave each corner four horizontal sticks which we glued the vertical and diagonal bracing between. I believe our bridge design was strong. But if we had taken more time to devote to craft and to think about the order in which we made and assembled our bridge it would have lasted longer.

Top left: Preliminary sketches; Top right and middle: Bridge after completion and before testing; Bottom: bridge after testing

This project challenged us to design a vector active truss structure using the knowledge we had acquired through the semester. We had to design one perfectly symmetrical truss, one truss with variable pitch (slope), one asymmetrical truss, and one curved truss. The pictured trusses were designed, laser cut, and pasted in that order.

Created By
Lydia Gandy

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