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A Practical Guide to Graphical Statics

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Mechanics Division Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Casey Allen Halbmaier University of St. Thomas

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Casey Halbmaier is a junior mechanical engineering student at the University of St. Thomas in St Paul MN.

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Sarah Baxter University of St. Thomas

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Dr. Baxter is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the School of Engineering at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She received her PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science.

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Dalton Irving Humphrey University of St. Thomas

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Dalton Irving Humphrey is a Junior Mechanical Engineering major at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN.

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Bethany Fralick University of South Carolina - Aiken

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Dr. Fralick is an Assistant Professor of Engineering in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of South Carolina Aiken in Aiken, SC. She received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Carolina College of Engineering and Computing.

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In previous work, the inclusion of Graphical Statics modules in undergraduate Statics class was proposed as a novel method to reinforce the fundamental concepts and re-engage students. The hypothesis posed was that Graphical Statics components could strengthen visualization skills and would encourage drawing as a conceptual aid. The response to a talk given on this work was very positive; however, while admitting the potential for these outcomes, the audience was more interested in specific problems that could be directly inserted into the class as active learning exercises. In a companion paper, this discussion is continued and Graphical Statics is examined within the framework of its role as an active learning technique and its relevance in the curriculum.

In this poster presentation and paper, the focus moves to the practical aspects of using Graphical Statics techniques. The poster identifies appropriate problems that can be solved using Graphical Statics and illustrates the visual components of the technique; a short textbook of problems has been constructed and will be offered at the poster session and via email.

In this accompanying paper, the ideas behind these visual components are expanded and reflected from a users point of view.

Halbmaier, C. A., & Baxter, S., & Humphrey, D. I., & Fralick, B. (2016, June), A Practical Guide to Graphical Statics Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26400

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