Structural Model Project
Design, Critical Analysis, Communication, and Teamwork
Arch 324, Introduction to Structural Design, University of Virginia
Last updated Wednesday, February 19, 1997, at 8:59 AM
Copyright © 1996, 1997
You and a teammate are to build a working structural model from
a standard kit of parts.
The kit of parts includes the following:
- One 20"x30" sheet of 1/16" chip board.
- One 20"x15" sheet of foam core board, 1/4" thick or less.
- 60 inches of 1/8" x 1/8" basswood.
- 20 ACC0 #1 Silverette paper clips.
- 20 feet of Duraline Cotton Wrapping Twine.
- 50 Alliance Size 16 Rubber Bands.
The chipboard, foam core, and basswood are available at the AA Supply Store; the other items are available at the Newcomb Hall book store; several teams can purchase items as a group. No adhesive products (e.g. tape or glue) are allowed. The figure below shows the load and support conditions, The strap is 1.5 inches wide, made of canvas.
Projects will be tested during the section meeting times on
Thursday March 6. If the weather is good, we will test the
projects outside, otherwise we will use the section rooms.
The process begins with an evaluation and prediction phase where
each person in the section will predict for each structure
the number of pounds they expect it to carry; this will be
followed by a testing phase where each model is loaded to failure.
Objectives and Evaluation
The project seeks to develop and evaluate three abilities:
- Design: The ability to conceive and build a good structure.
- Critical Analysis: The ability to evaluate and identify good and bad structures.
- Communication: The ability to convince other people that your structure is good.
- Teamwork: The ability to work productively in an assigned
These abilities will be evaluated as follows:
- Design: (70%) This will be based on the amount of load your structure carries.
- Critical Analysis: (10%) This will be based on the accuracy of your predictions in the prediction phase.
- Communication: (10%) This will be based on the average
strength predicted by people in your section, regardless of how much
load it actually carried. (You get credit for making people think you've got a strong structure, whether it is or not).
- Teamwork: (10%) This will be based on mutual assessment
by you and your teammate.
||Task or Product
Mon 24 Feb to|
Thu 27 Feb
Purchase the kit of parts, confer with your partner, and begin
developing a conceptual design. There will be time during the
Thursday lab meet with your partner and discuss your concept with the teaching assistants. Bring sketches of design ideas.
Fri 28 Feb to|
Wed 5 Mar
Build the model.
Wed 5 Mar
Stop all work at midnight.
Thu 6 Mar
Evaluation and testing.