Dr Antony Darby, Bath University
Reader in the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering
Dr Fiona Gleed
Mark and I have had a chance to play with it now. Overall, I think it really hits the mark in terms of the flexibility of the system and addressing the main shortcoming of students understanding of structures – their inability to sketch deflected shapes! Conceptually, I really like it. I don’t quite follow exactly the approach in your book when I teach statics, but deflected shapes are certainly a key component, particularly identifying points of contraflexure and locations of the sides of elements in tension and working out directions of reactions.
I have managed to have a go with the kit and can see it being a really useful prop for online tutorials, used with a visualiser. I can see it being very useful to work with a small group of students. I would probably look to mark up some sheets in advance with the initial set-up, to speed assembly and provide a reference for the unloaded condition.