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The brief was to design a light water tower from a bio-degradable material which could support an 800 litre water container.
Completion date
Our group worked through a number of iterations and tested multiple base building units for the tower.  We used Solidworks to design the tower concepts and then ran the Finite element analysis to determine the performance of each concept. Looking at the results we identified weak points and used these insights to improve the design.
We found that using triangles in the structure significantly improved its performance. (duh) A triangle is fixed in shape until the compressive and tensile limits of one of its three members is reached. In the end we arrived at the final design that predominantly consists of triangles.
We found that horizontal beams improved the structures resistance to buckling, whilst vertical beams improved the compressive strength of the tower.
For another project the task was to design a lightweight tandem bicycle frame with two seats with an effective life of at least 10 years and natural frequency of the frame larger than 30Hz to avoid discomfort due to whole body vibrations.
I tested auminium and magnesium alloys for the material. Static study was carried out to determine whether the frame is able to withstand the required load. Fatigue analysis was used to determine the effective life of the bicycle frame and frequency analysis was performed to find the natural frequency of the frame for the given loading conditions. You can see more of the technical details and analysis results here.
David then used our water tower design to make a stool from extruded alluminium tubes. You can see it here in more detail.
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