If you’ve been following this blog, you might recall that the Advanced Engineering class was laying out conceptual designs for a playground structure destined for the Lower Campus. They have been fairly quiet since then, except for announcing a grant that was awarded in October. However, much has gone on in the background: our six students have been learning about stress strain, Hooke’s Law, materials science, and cross-section analysis. They also began work on a long-term design report that will be completed by the end of the year.
Our own Sarah Jane suggested that the group take the advice of local architect Jeff Shelton, and turn out a scale model of our intended structure. It wasn’t in Mr. Meadth’s original curriculum plans, but it seemed like a good idea!
So they turned to the CAD model.
For any CAD nerds out there, you’ll recognize this as having been created in SketchUp, a fully-featured free program commonly used by architects and product designers the world over.
Some aspects of the model have been since changed, such as standardizing the railing system across the entire model. It’s a continual work in progress, as the group shifts from conceptual to detailed design.
After some packs of balsa wood, modelling clay, and other miscellaneous items arrived in the mail, the team set to work making a 1:16 scale model. Caleb became quite proficient with a craft knife.
The four surrounding trees were created in clay, courtesy of Sarah Jane, and Kylie got very good at staining balsa with a foam brush.