Would it be possible to design a system, using a maximum of two 1 x 6 pine timbers (or the equivalent weight), that would span a total of eight (8) feet while supporting a 175-pound point load while succumbing to a maximum deflection of only one quarter (1/4) of an inch? Welcome to the first design-build project of the semester, lovingly titled the "Stress Test!"

So begins the semester, hope you enjoy our work.

These first images are of the two most successful designs.  Be sure to scroll down and view all of the final design schemes and read about their levels of success. 

 Having a maximum deflection of merely 1/8th of an inch, the "curvilinear" group, basing their final design on Brian Davis's preliminary design scheme, built an arched support similar to a box truss.  Pictured   in the above photograph (from left to right) are: Brian Tarbox, Christopher Jurgens, Kayla Casperonis, our Professor Daniel Sagan, Brian Davis, and Thomas Hajosch.


Above: Group Photo

Below: James Pfeiffer measures heights of the board both prior to and during testing for the comparison and later analysis of the design's success.



 Also having a maximum deflection of 1/8th of an inch, the "I-Beam" group, who's design proves the structural integrity of the I-Beam's form, show's that in some cases it's good to get back to the basics!  Pictured in the photograph are: (Top Left) Meredith Hankins, Kerri Ingraham, Nelson Gomez, James Pfeiffer, as well as (Bottom Left) Christy Ketchel, and Matthew Bonner.

Above: Group Photo

Below: Christopher Jurgens measures the test heights, as Prof. Sagan prepares to "walk the plank!" (pun intended), or in this case, I-beam.

Below: Prof. Sagan proves that surfing and design walk hand in hand.

The following pictures highlight the other two groups design schemes and those who helped to create them.

Above: The "Truss" group photograph.  Featured in this picture from left to right are: Rudy Caron, Leanne Waterman, and Matthew Ruopoli.  Also a member of the group but regrettably not pictured: Justin Toby



Above: The "Miscellaneous" group photograph.  Featured in this picture are (from left to right): Kristin Wilbur, Erica Racine, and Caitlin Torrance.  Not pictured, but also a member of the group: Jeff Cooper.

Below: Prof. Sagan, the 175 lb. point load, tests the groups design, although with some hesitation.  This group's design managed to allow a maximum deflection of only 1/4 of an inch

Below: The underside of the design reveals a web of tensioned cables helping to distribute the weight.

These last two design schemes were created to further experiment with the given materials as well as to test other various ways of solving the problem. 

 Above: The second design by the "curvilinear" group relies on tension to keep the beam from deflecting.

Below: Images of the design being tested.



Above: The "I-Beam" group's second design, which features a series of side supports.

Below: Prof. Sagan begins the testing as he enlists the help of a chair to balance.

And so ends the first project of the semester, with each group taking the lessons they have learned from this "experiment" and begining to think of ways to improve on their designs.

Please feel free to view any of the other projects, as well as the Norwich University School of Architecture site at www.NorwichArchArt.com as they become available.

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