Structural Technology

Brought to you by: P. A. Wiedorn

Search the Internet at google or Ask Jeeves or look in How Stuff Works

Balsa Bridge for Foundations of Technology

Tension Vs. Compression

Structural members being pulled apart are in tension, they fail by breaking in two. If the ends of the structural member are being pushed together the member is in compression. Members in compression fail by buckling.

Live and Dead Load

Any structure must carry its own weight, this is called the Dead Load. The structure must also be designed to carry people, cars, furniture, equipment, etc. These are the Live Loads and they are much harder to predict. Weather (e.g. wind and snow) is also a live load.

Bridge Building

Building Big Bridges Forces Lab

Visit Bridge Basics to get some design ideas

Here is a tool to use to design truss bridges Bridge Designer

For more help visit Garrett's Bridge Design

For information about the international Bridge Building Challenge visit is a Nova web site that summarizes a recent video program. Discusses types of bridges and gives illustrations

The West Point Bridge Designer is a software tool developed to help you learn about engineering, computer-aided design, and bridge structures. Its purposes are to stimulate interest in engineering... Visit to find out about a contest using this software.

Tall Buildings

Nalyd's Skyscraper Page

What is the tallest building in the world? Click Here: The High Rise Pages to find out.

For some models of real buildings to look at click on: Amazing 3-D Graphics

Click here: for the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

To visit the Empire State Building use

The World Federation of Great Towers is at And for great buildings in general visit

Towers of Straws

For Straw Tower Building Techniques: Thinking Fountain

Here are some Tensegrity structures,,

For structures of all kinds go to:

Tired of just straws - click here for some (w)rappers. Or go to to have more fun.

Last updated on 4 December 2014 by P.A. Wiedorn

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