Structural Model Project
Design, Critical Analysis, and Communication
Arch 324, Introduction to Structural Design, University of Virginia
Last updated Monday, March 4, 1996, at 9:56 AM
Copyright © 1996,
You and a teammate are to build a working structural model from
a standard kit of parts, plus drawings explaining how the design
works and why the design is a good idea.
The kit of parts includes the following:
The chipboard and foam core 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.
- Two 20"x30" sheets of 1/16" chip board.
- One 20"x15" sheet of foam core board 1/4" thick or less.
- 20 ACC0 #1 Silverette paper clips.
- 20 feet of Duraline Cotton Wrapping Twine.
- 50 Alliance Size 16 Rubber Bands.
Projects will be evaluated in a two-stage process.
- Stage 1: Section Testing: This stage will
occur in the section meetings on March 7 and 8, and has two
objectives: 1) to identify in each section the structure most likely
to have the greatest strength, to go on to load testing in stage 2; and 2) to
evaluate and test the remaining projects.
- Stage 2: Public Testing: This stage will occur
Monday March 18 at 1:00 during the hour between lecture and
studio. The four projects representing each of the
respective sections will be load tested to find the strongest.
Stage 1 includes an evaluation and prediction process where
each person in the section will predict for each structure
whether it will finish in the top, middle, or bottom third
of load carrying capacity for the section. The structure
receiving the most top-third votes will be set aside for
testing in stage 2 (a run-off process will be used in case
of ties). The remaining structues will be load tested in the
Objectives and Evaluation
The project seeks to develop and evaluate three abilities:
These three abilities will be evaluated as follows:
- Design: The ability to conceive and build a good structure.
- Critical Analysis: The ability to evaluate and identify a good and bad structures.
- Communication: The ability to convince other people that your structure is good.
- Design: (50%) This will be based on the amount of load your
- Critical Analysis: (35%) This will be based on the accuracy of your
predictions in the model ranking process of stage 1.
- Communication: (15%) This will be based of the percentage of top-third votes received
by your structure in stage 1.
Each team is responsible for two products: a working
structural model, and a series of drawings explaining the
reasoning of the structural design. In the two-person
teams, one person will be designated the "model manager" and
one person will be the "drawing manager". These roles do no
mean that one person does all the model building while the
other does all the drawing, but rather that one person is
responsible to see that the work gets done. Team members
are encouraged to share work in the way that is most
effective for them, but are also individually accountable
for a specific part of the project. The assigned two-person teams are listed
on the course web site.
||Task or Product
Mon 26 Feb to|
Wed 29 Feb
Purchase the kit of parts. Confer with your partner and
produce concept drawings to pin up in the lab meeting on Feb
29 or March 1. Begin testing concepts for assembly and
Thu 29 Feb or|
Friday 1 Mar
Bring concept drawings to lab for pin-up and discussion during the second hour.
Sat 2 Mar to|
Wed 6 Mar
Produce model and final drawings for presentation in lab
Wed 6 Mar
Stop all work at midnight.
Thu 7 Mar and|
Fri 8 Mar
Stage 1 evaluation and testing.
Mon 18 Mar
Stage 2 testing.