Designs

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hpfananu
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Designs

Post by hpfananu » September 1st, 2011, 6:24 pm

Discuss Designs for the 2011-2012 Tower Season!
Are you guys thinking about 4 legged or 3 legged this year?
Materials Science|Water Quality|Disease Detectives
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Re: Designs

Post by Vizard007 » September 2nd, 2011, 5:15 am

Always four! :D (Assuming nothing in the rules changes drastically) I've always just found getting a three-legged design too difficult. The chances of getting it perfect is just not enough for me. =/ And the amount of time it would take to make just one is a pain compared to those with four legs. (It may be just me though)
It's so easy, even a Badger could do it.

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Re: Designs

Post by rjm » September 3rd, 2011, 9:48 am

Three leg towers require stiffer cross bracing. The faces of the tower are not perpendicular to each other, and a bending moment will develop in the bracing as the legs attempt to buckle. In addition to the general difficulty of building three leg towers, I think you will find that the savings of weight from one less leg will be offset by the additional weight of bracing. Three leg towers can be successfully made, but it's more tricky than you might think.

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Re: Designs

Post by hpfananu » September 3rd, 2011, 11:44 am

We've always stuck to four and it's worked out quite well...just seeing if anyone's had luck with 3. A few people at Nationals had 3 (actually, a good number) BUT I'm not sure how the people who did better than us designed theirs...ah well..waiting for the test packets!
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Re: Designs

Post by JimY » September 5th, 2011, 11:56 am

Several seasons ago, I thought seriously about having the teams I coach build 3 legged towers, despite knowing the faults that rjm mentions above. It didn't take long to abandon the idea and I have not looked back since. So, stick with the 4 leggers, unless there is some special bonus in the rules for 3 leggers.

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Re: Designs

Post by Vizard007 » September 11th, 2011, 11:43 am

I also recall reading on a post last year that a three legged and four legged tower would be about the same weight. (Since the supports/braces would be longer for a 3 legged tower) So, I think it's better not to go through all the stress of trying to get perfect 60 degrees.
It's so easy, even a Badger could do it.

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Re: Designs

Post by Addicted2Scioly » September 19th, 2011, 8:03 pm

This year I am thinking of going with a solid four legged design until I my four is light and durable enough to "break a leg." ;) Definitely don't want to take any chances of lowering my score at the beginning of the year!

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Re: Designs

Post by Addicted2Scioly » September 19th, 2011, 8:04 pm

Vizard007 wrote:I also recall reading on a post last year that a three legged and four legged tower would be about the same weight. (Since the supports/braces would be longer for a 3 legged tower) So, I think it's better not to go through all the stress of trying to get perfect 60 degrees.

Agreed. I think doing a four legged tower is much safer.

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Re: Designs

Post by jschrep20wba » September 26th, 2011, 8:51 am

Team 4 legs! Three is such an odd number.
2012 probable events - Disease Detectives; Mousetrap Vehicle; Compute This. (B Division)

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Re: Designs

Post by LKN » October 8th, 2011, 4:57 pm

Because I couldn't figure out how to add a new topic, "Building Techniques" for tower building...

What is the best way you have found to attach the base and chimney of the tower? I have always been using a jig for the base, constructing the chimney, and sanding both legs until when I stack them on top of one another they are level. Sometimes the chimney legs and base legs just don't quite match up right, and sometimes a weak connection between both the chimney legs and base legs appear to be the reason for premature failure. After a few years, I have mastered the "sand-stack-level-repeat" technique, but I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions or other methods.
- LKN
NCSSM '13

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