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Possible Design Advice Question
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Posted by: Fernie720

05/04/2003, 03:15:06

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I'm majoring in structural engineering and we must design and build a tower made of balsa wood. I need help however, I have no idea what type of glue to use or how to minimize the weight. I have two possible designs. The bottom of the tower has to fit outside of an 8" circle, the top has to fit within a 6" circle. So, one of my designs is almost cone shaped, without the pointy top. The other is similar to triangular prism, except that at the very top, another smaller triangle 1" high fits within the 6" diameter maximum possible top. I've been told that the cone shaped tower will easily spread apart at the bottom and collapse. However, on the other design, I have also been told that the points at which the top triangular prism meets the main prism will easily collapse also. I am against some very tough competition...some towers have held over 1000lbs. My first tower held a horrible 120lbs. Please give me any advice you can. I have the designs in Acrobat & Pro-Engineering document files, should you need clarification. If you have any questions to better understand my predicament, or have any advice, please email me as soon as possible:

I greatly appreciate it!






Modified by Administrator at Sun, May 04, 2003, 11:54:04

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Re: Possible Design Advice Agree
Re: Possible Design Advice -- Fernie720 Post Reply Top of thread Forum
Posted by: proddesign

06/06/2003, 13:01:26

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i've always had luck with a model airplane glue, i think its called zap...i dont remember it's been a few years, but it held the best and was stronger than the balsa (other words the balsa broke before the glue joint)

Local hobby shop should have something they use for model airplanes made of balsa...

internal bracing and ribs may be the best way to prevent spreading and collapses...how much did the 1000 lb loaded towers weigh...could you use a solid tapered log and hold 10000 lbs but weigh more than all the competition? or is there a weight to pound ratio that they judge you on?







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Re: Possible Design Advice
Re: Possible Design Advice -- Fernie720 Post Reply Top of thread Forum
Posted by: RKimball

05/12/2003, 00:07:20

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May I suggest a second extra credit report and R&D action. Test several of the 'super glue' products and find out which one has the properties you need for your project. Then report your findings and use it. This would be an excellent chance to write a 'White Paper" on the subject. I bet you could get it published in an engineering design trade journal. They all seem willing to print such things and this would get you into the swing of the engineering world with a bang of a start. AND would look great on your up and comming resume. ( ... did a white paper on glues that was published by ...) You may, too, speak to some scale RC airplane builders at a local hobby shop that specalizes in such. This would be a deep experience tank on glueing balsa.

-randy-




** The worst suggestion of your lifetime may be the catalyst to the grandest idea of the century, don't fail to listen to suggestions. -randy-


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