Armfield’s ST10 Understanding Structural Behaviour package is a pioneering new approach to the teaching of structural engineering in a fusion of innovative software, unique hardware and an authoritative text book. A variety of different structures can be built directly on a specially adapted widescreen, flat-panel display. The software calculates the simulated performance of the structure such as deflection, moment force diagram, shear force diagram and reactions. These diagrams are then displayed directly behind the physical model of the structure at the same size of the model and so can be directly related to the responses obtained by applying manual stimuli.
The ST10 can be used in a several different modes. The simplest mode is to use the hardware and backboard to build a structure. Applying loads by hand and seeing how the structure reacts gives instant feedback and a great learning experience.
Using the display and visualization software takes this learning experience to another dimension. Graphical display of moment forces, shear forces, deflections and reactions in response to a simulated load really bring these concepts to life. Displaying these simulations on the screen, overlaid with the physical model, and comparing the simulations with the hardware provides an unparalleled and totally unique teaching capability. The software can also be used on its own without the hardware if desired.
The next stage is to add the optional ST11 Instrumentation package. This enables loads to be applied to the structure from the computer, and actual reactions and displacements to be measured on the sophisticated sensors. Thus quantitative measurements of loads, displacements and reactions can be taken.
The sensors and actuators can also be used in a free form mode to apply and measure responses to the user’s own structure. Finally, it is possible to do a full computer simulation of the structures. Armfield provide models of the key structures, which can be run directly on a demonstration version of a professional software structural analysis package.
The ST10 package includes a 32″ high-definition display with HDMI interface, the backboard for attaching the joints, supports and carbon fiber beams, display and visualization software, RISA 2D models, a lockable storage cabinet for all of the components, and a copy of Dr. David Brohn’s “Understanding Structural Analysis” text book.