In the previous episode of “Dynam(o)ite your Design for Engineers” the engineer did a study case on a simple engineering problem with the single-span beam, to find its geometrical influence on the bar stresses. Finding out how to do this in an optimal way, the exercise could be extended easily to get this working to find out more about the geometrical influence of a truss to its internal stresses.
One: Hah, this one is easy: we all know that when we increase the truss height, the stresses in the chords will decrease (in case the truss is simple uniform loaded). Why should you care more?
Me: well, I need to find out the best solution for my truss. How can I better find this then looking at a diagram with all possible solutions? Besides, the architect in the “Millennium Railway Station – Armadillo Roof” project won’t accept a 5 m high truss, is he?
In this example a double loop with different input and output is used to get to a final diagram as the one showed below. This diagram helps the engineer to decide which type of truss configuration (in terms of sections size and truss height) is the best one for the purpose of his project.
What you will see next time in “Dynam(o)ite your Design for Engineers”: The engineer is not completely satisfied with this solution. It helped to make decisions, but he wants to enable computational design to get to an optimal result. He dares to consider “Structural Optimization” and astonishes the other engineers in the meeting room… Let’s hope he won’t crash on an overdose of “geeky” stuff…