Jeremy Williams – 640005 Week 2 – Studio Journal Between the week 1 and week 2 studio, we were given a piece of balsa wood and told that, as a group, a structure is to be erected only consisting of 40 pieces with the objective of being as tall as possible. During discussions, it was decided that the tower will be shaped as a triangle (a truss) as opposed to a square or rectangle due to: Trusses: • Stable under loading (pressure or force) • Cannot change shape except for elongation and contraction of its members (the pieces of balsa wood that make up the tower Squares: • Unstable under loading (pressure or force) • Will collapse under all but very specific conditions
Triangular shaped support structure to provide the tower with stability
Jeremy Williams – 640005
Limit of 40 ‘strips’ of balsa wood Truss to support the tower is used every 2 vertical members to maximize the limited balsa wood Theoretically sound, but flawed when put in practice As the tower got higher, members came under elongation due to poor construction and different heights of the members Lead to instability Member under elongation
Jeremy Williams – 640005 •
Diagonal-‐support beams were put in place to prevent members from undergoing elongation Provided stability as the structure got taller Diagonal-‐support beams were placed in-‐such a way that two trusses were connected to each other.
Supply of balsa wood diminished towards the top of the tower Trusses were abandoned for diagonal-‐support beams due to less wood being involved Forfeited stability for height Diagonal-‐support beams were placed on opposite sides in-‐order to be more effective
Jeremy Williams – 640005 Another group forfeited height for stability, utilizing trusses to increases stability. ‘Mini-‐vertical-‐trusses’ were constructed between the vertical members the horizontal trusses.
This structure was shown to be extremely sounds, capable of supporting the weight of a 200-‐page textbook. The structure that my group constructed, despite being almost two stories tall, could not support the weight of a piece of paper.