Sunday, October 19, 2008


Wooden sticks as columns and beams, tape for fastening, and stiff paper for floors. Not shown-- I tried taping steel bolts to the columns to give them more weight to drive a collapse, but the structure fell over before I could finish attaching the extra weight. I removed the bolts before taking the picture.

There is a real problem making a structure that could completely possibly collapse under its own weight, and making a stable structure. I have been trying to make flimsy structures that might collapse, but they won't stay upright long enough to test their collapse response. This thing fell over before I was even done building it.

1) it is impossible to make a stable structure that can crush it's own structure,
2) there is some aspect of scaling down that makes it impossible to make a small stable structure that can crush it's own structure, and that a much larger structure CAN in fact crush it's own structure.

One other potential issue is the difficulty of getting the structural members aligned perfectly with crude fasteners such as tape. If I were able to align the tower more perfectly, it might be more stable-- though I doubt this would overcome the basic problem I described.