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Conclusion:

After having carried out this project I believe it has been very beneficial to me and my knowledge
of structural design. I learned many new things like how to resolve forces in frameworks into their
respective components and was able to work out the force on each member and node in our bridge.
A new method I also learned was how to do method of sections. This allows you to get the force on
any member without having to work through all the members before it to get the force. This is
useful to see if your calculations are correct and also to know if the member can take the force
being applied to it. Having completed this project I now know the importance of having carefully
planned the project before even thinking about building it. By planning it we were able to utilise the
amount of material we used to make our bridge more efficient and realistic of carrying the 500g
weight. By planning it and getting our analytical results we were able to point out the main failure
nodes on the bridge.
My teamwork skills have also improved hugely from taking part in this project. I learned how to
divide up work evenly and fairly and how if someone was good at one particular job he would
proceed to do that job. In real life situations you will have to work as part of a team and this really
benifited me for future projects and tasks that i will take on which involve teamwork.
The theorethical analysis of our structure had 4 members almost 100% efficient and therefore our
bridge shouldve only just about held the 500g weight. When we actually tested our structure it
failed at 450g. This was due to a mistake made during manufacture where a member failed because
it had been damaged. This was also a very efficient member at 95% efficiency. Our results were
similar and werent too far away from being correct.
The straw testing was also a very important part of this project. It meant we could determine how
much force the straws could take in both tension and compression. This was key for us to be able to
analyize our sturcture.
This project was very benefical to me as it prepared me for future modules that i will study
throughout my years in the University of Limerick. I intend on studying civil engineering next year
and pursuing a further career in it. This project really helped me to learn new and important things
and also broadend my knowledge on the subject. This project was like a real life project and we had
to carry it out in the same manner as if it was a real life situation.