Conclusion Summarize the work done in the project and final outcomes
Describe what you would do differently if you had more time or could do it over again (i.e. potential design improvements, testing, etc.)
Based on your prototype, what recommendations would you give to someone designing and building a bridge in this project?
Described what you learned while completing this project
The goal of this lab was to design a bridge that would sustain at least 10 pounds of weight. There are other requirements that the bridge had to meet in order to achieve a passing grade. In order to achieve a high score however, the bridge has to perform exceptionally well. There are a total of 4 sections that bridge would be graded on: Safety Factor, Cost Efficiency, Traffic Score, and Aesthetics. The bridge was to be a truss bridge that would be a certain height, width and length, so the research, appropriately, was done on different types of truss bridges. Using the ideas, many rough designs were made and one of them was chosen and refined into the final design. Using calculations and formulas, the optimal amount of materials for the highest possible score was calculated. These calculations further helped to achieve the optimal bridge design. After the construction phase, the bridge was tested and the data saved. Utilizing the data gathered after the test, improvements were made to augment the design.
A truss bridge is a bridge laying on top of the gap instead of having supports beneath it. They usually have triangular patterns, which allows the bridge to handle a considerable amount of tension and compression. Some common truss designs are Pratt Trusses, K-Trusses, and Howe Trusses. Truss bridges are made from both wood and steel, but more modern ones usually use steel. Basing the bridge design off this research, a simple yet efficient design was achieved.
Detailed Design Description
The final bridge design was a very simple Pratt Truss with extra supports. The right and left sides of the bridge were 9 inches long and contained four sections as seen in the Engineering Drawing found in Appendix 1 . The far left and far right sections were identical right triangles with a length of 2.25 in. a height of 3 in. and a hypotenuse of 3.75 in. The middle two sections of the sides of the bridge were identical boxes with a length of 2.25 in. and a height of 3 in. each. In the left middle section of the bridge there was a beam 2.75 in. in length from the top left corner of the box that connected to the middle of the side of the bridge, and in the right middle section of the bridge there was a beam 2.75 in. in length from the top right corner of the box that connected to the middle of the side of the bridge, like a standard Pratt Truss. Also in the middle two sections of the side of the bridge were more supporting beams; in the left middle section of the bridge, the bottom left triangle was further divided by a beam placed from the bottom left corner of the box to the middle of the hypotenuse connected to the beam already going across the box and was 1.875 in. in length while in the right middle section of the bridge, the bottom right triangle was further divided by a beam placed from the bottom right corner of the box to the middle of the hypotenuse connected to the beam already going across the box and was also 1.875 in. in length.
3 beams connect the top together and 5 beams connect the bottom. All of these beams are spaced equidistant from each other and straight across.
The design is simple but supports the maximum weight possible while keeping the cost low. See Appendix 1 for Engineering Drawing of final design.
First when many designs were considered, only the strength was considered. However, when the costs of each design was calculated, the designs proved to be overly complicated and used too much wood. These original ideas include round Trusses, Baltimore Trusses, and Choosing one of the simpler designs, modifications were made so that the cost became manageable while still maintaining the structural integrity. Also, the traffic score had to be cut down from 10 to 8 because with a limited amount of wood, it would be extremely difficult to maintain a strong bridge over such a wide gap.
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