Structural Scale Models: Beyond the Computer

by Irwin G. Cantor, Principal; Cantor/Seinude Group, New York, NY,
Ysrael A. Seinude, Principal; Cantor/Seinude Group, New York, NY,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1988, Vol. 58, Issue 11, Pg. 42-45

Document Type: Feature article


The authors build balsa wood structural scale models to supplement their 3D CADD designs because, for complex framing systems or sites with access problems, the models help clients and other engineers visualize the design. Not all persons are adept at reading computer-generated wire-model drawings. The balsa models help clients make decisions and architects to visualize how the framing will affect their designs. They give mechanical engineers the opportunity to avoid interference problems. Fabricators and erectors can more easily determine how to do their work. Models are also valuable for the structural designers when the framing or a section of the framing is so complicated that the computer drawing cannot show all the joint members without overlapping lines. The use of models in the design of four projects is shown.

Subject Headings: Computer models | Computer aided design | Three-dimensional models | Structural design | Scale models | Structural models | Design/Build | Wood frames

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