Enhancing the teaching of elastic buckling using additive manufacturing
This is the third part in a trilogy of papers examining ways in which additive manufacturing can be used to facilitate the introduction of basic principles in structural analysis. Each paper uses 3D-printing and simple, but non-trivial, slender geometric forms, to provide a hands-on aspect to structural behavior in which flexure plays a dominant role. The first part dealt with linear structural analysis (Virgin, 2017), extended to dynamics and vibration in the second part (Virgin, 2017). The current paper focuses on slender structures in which compressive axial loading is the new ingredient and hence buckling becomes a central issue. This has similarities and differences with the two previous papers, but in all instances the role played by relatively high-precision 3D-printing opens the door to versatile and effective illustration, and the development of a deeper appreciation of structural phenomena.
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