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Thread: Strongest shape made from paper.

  1. #1 Strongest shape made from paper. 
    Forum Freshman
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    I am trying to figure out the strongest shape I can make from paper.

    By that I mean, if i were to take a peice of paper, suspended between 2 blocks like below, what would be best way to have it carry the most load possible, with the least delfection?

    __ -----------__
    | | | |
    |__| |__ |

    the dotted line of course being the paper.

    I am looking for anything, including things done with scissors.

    I have thought of a few, 1) a circle, 2) multiple folds so as to produce a series of triangles. (looks like /\/\/\/\/\ from front) 3) one triangle (like glued shut or something).

    Can anybody think of any better use of paper to make the strongest shape? go wild! I am looking for the craziest ideas possible. (although, it would be a help if they actually could perform.)


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  3. #2  
    Time Lord
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    The formatting messed up your picture. I assume you want a rigid span, like a bridge?

    Trusses (triangles) like /\/\/\/\/ sandwiched between sheets glued top and bottom, is a winner if the load must sit atop simple structure, no lower than the block tops. Make the span arch a bit.

    If the load may be suspended (without deflection), you can do better, and so simple it looks like cheating.


    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  4. #3 Re: Strongest shape made from paper. 
    Suspended
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gmano
    I am trying to figure out the strongest shape I can make from paper.

    By that I mean, if i were to take a peice of paper, suspended between 2 blocks like below, what would be best way to have it carry the most load possible, with the least delfection?

    __ -----------__
    | | | |
    |__| |__ |

    the dotted line of course being the paper.

    I am looking for anything, including things done with scissors.

    I have thought of a few, 1) a circle, 2) multiple folds so as to produce a series of triangles. (looks like /\/\/\/\/\ from front) 3) one triangle (like glued shut or something).

    Can anybody think of any better use of paper to make the strongest shape? go wild! I am looking for the craziest ideas possible. (although, it would be a help if they actually could perform.)
    I was always taught to look at something made of the material you are going to use. But create it using solid material. This will give you an idea of the maximum strength possible in most cases.

    Sometime this avoids years of anal arguments about structural integrity and geometric strength. Because if it cannot do the job out of a solid, your done it is on to the next material or a redesign of the project. More then likely if it will not be strong enough as a solid, it will not do the job built out of a skeleton of the solid.

    Good engineers, claimed that if you cannot build it out of the solid, it should not be built out of some, lightened version. In other words if a solid piece of the material in the shape of your finished product will collapse under its own weight. You should not make the object or project anyway, by just removing some of the weight so it will not collapse.

    If you took a bunch of paper and just glued it together, face to face. That would give you the strongest possible structure, made of paper.

    From there you could put lightning holes into it. To remove some of the weight.






    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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  5. #4  
    Forum Freshman jp1989's Avatar
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    you could use toilet paper tubes, the brown thing that toilet paper is wrapped around. They make pretty solid structures. I saw in a show once (ART ATTACK!) that this guy would stand on the cylinders and they wouldn't bend!
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