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2.1.

9 Truss Design

Team Members: Lucas Gretta, John


Rearick, Sofia Martinez, Andy Maughan
POE Block 4
Problem Statement:
We are to design a truss based on a practice truss and research that performs better
than test trusses, only using balsa wood, glue and paper. Paper gussets must not be

larger than gussets used during training, span greater than or equal to 6 inches,
height less than or equal to 4 inches, using use no more than 36 inches of balsa
wood.
Test Truss:
Our test Truss supported 26 lbs before it slipped and fell off of the machine. It did not
break, and this caused us to not acquire a graph. Our truss had a 345744.71%
efficiency assuming it broke when it slipped.
MDSolids of our Test Truss:

What I Learned:
I learned on the test truss that some members do not undergo stress under
compression, helping me decide where to place certain component in my final design. I
also learned that we should make our truss base wider, in order to keep our truss on the
apparatus, unlike what happened with our test truss.

Research Results:
I learned several types of roof terms from http://www.all-fab.com/pdf/Truss
%20Terminology.pdf, such as top and bottom chord. This allowed me to better search
for a truss with high top chord loads, which lead me to the fan, fink, and fan fink trusses,
which I based one of my designs off of.
Truss Terminology. (n.d.). Retrieved December 2, 2015, from http://www.allfab.com/pdf/Truss Terminology.pdf
Types of Roof Trusses. (2004). Retrieved December 2, 2015, from
http://truswood.com/types of roof trusses.htm
My Design Sketch:

My Design MDSolids:

This design used 35.195~ inches of balsa wood out of the maximum of 36.
Decision Process:
Andy submitted a double Howe Design with two non-central supports. It used the least
materials of any design, however it also supported the least. Joh submitted a double
Howe Design in different proportions, his supported more than Andys but it used more.
Sofia used a Fink design, which supported the same amount as Johns, however it used
all 36 cm. My design was a Fink design with a middle post, which supported the most,
however it almost used all materials (effectively the same as Sofias, as if we needed to
redo a piece we wouldnt have enough material), and was the hardest to build.

Our Final Design Decision Matrix:

We chose complexity as a factor because the more complex the design, the more
stress it would take to make our truss, interfering with our teamwork. We chose amount
as we had a limited amount of material. We chose distribution of stress as stability was
a central part of our assignment. We chose time to make as time was under heavy
constraint. We chose aesthetics because we wanted our truss to look pretty. We
eventually chose to synthesize a new idea, as we each had parts we wanted to
incorporate in our final design.

Final Design:

Final Truss Before Test:

Official Test:

Maximum weight supported: 57 lbs | 26 lbs for Test Truss


Weight of truss: .02176 lbs | .0076 lbs for Test Truss
Efficiency: 261948.5% | 345744.7 % for Test Truss
Total Length of our Members: 22.5 inches
Note: The truss was a little think and made contact with both sides of the loading
apparatus, which may have skewed results.
Broken Truss:

MDSolids of Broken Truss:

MDSolids of Broken Truss Indicating Where the Truss Broke:

SSA Graph of Final Truss:

Teamwork:
Andy participated in our design and decision process by contributing his idea and
voicing his opinion on others. When it came time to build, Andy offered to scan
everyones notebooks, however everyone had already scanned them. So instead he
helped build gussets.
Sofia participated in our design and decision process by contributing his idea and
voicing her opinion on others. When it came time to build, Sofia cut the members from
the marked pieces of balsa wood I gave her, and she glued some of the pieces together.
Luke participated in our design and decision process by contributing his idea and
voicing his opinion on others. When it came time to build, Luke measured and marked
the members from the piece of balsa wood we had, and he glued some of the pieces
together.

John participated in our design and decision process by contributing his idea and
voicing his opinion on others. When it came time to build, John elected to play on his
phone rather than contribute.
Reflection:
1. Failure occurred at the truss member where it did as that section was built
when we were rushing for time, and so had poor craftsmanship. This poor
craftsmanship caused a structurally unstable design. Our design broke at at the
corner instead of the area with the theoretically highest stress as the gussets at
the corners were rushed and therefore poorly made.
2. In order to improve our design, I would not place two vertical supports
near the edge of the truss as those took extra time and did not contribute much. I
would also move the fink closer to the center of the truss allowing room for
proper gussets to be placed. Finally, I would not drench the truss in glue as that
slowed us down. In addition to all of this, I would make our truss smaller and
more compact, in order to support more weight while keeping the same amount
of material used.

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