For our first project we were to design a static equilibrium model. The goal was to create a structure made out of string and rods that supported two one-pound cubes using tension and compression (no glue was allowed).
As shown below, we started by sketching different designs that we thought could work taking into account tension, compression and other forces such as gravity.
For my project I designed a 24 inch long bridge made out of basswood sticks that weighed 0.144 pounds. In order to make it resistant, I decided to include not only vertical but diagonal and horizontal supports all throughout the bridge. I placed the horizontal basswood sticks on the top and the bottom, the vertical ones in the middle and the sides and the diagonal ones where the vertical loads were to be placed at 1/3 and 2/3 points along the bridge in order to support the weight.
When watching the video of it collapsing, I noticed that it broke at the point where the table ended. I think this could’ve been avoided by providing more vertical and horizontal support at that point and at the bottom of the bridge and also by making it longer so more of its surface was supported by the table.