This week’s selection is “Why Buildings Stand Up: The Strength of Architecture” by Mario Salvadori.
This book is definitely not about 3D printing, but it is certainly relevant. While it discusses the ins and outs of keeping full-scale buildings from falling down, many of those same principles can apply to 3D printed designs.
The book begins with an examination of the factors that affect buildings and structures, including different types of loads. Sure, gravity is important, but there are also considerations for wind and even earthquakes.
Salvadori examines material factors such as compression and tension, and how they relate to different types of material properties. While Salvadori specifically discusses steel, concrete and plastics used in architectural construction, analogous investigations could be done on 3D printing materials.
These are applied in a section about beams and columns, where Salvadori examines the forces involved and failure scenarios.
The latter two-thirds of the book focus on architecture structures, and in particular look at specific examples, such as the Brooklyn Bridge or the Eiffel Tower. These provide a bit of history for the structure, as well as the design considerations involved.
Salvadori also look at the problem of tents and pneumatic structures, such as stadiums with inflated roofs.
While you won’t find any 3D printed objects in this book, the principles are the same. To make an object stand up while using the least possible material you would have to perform similar investigations of its design.
If you’re designing objects with unusual geometry that have to stand up by themselves, then this book might be of interest.
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