A reciprocal frame

by Netra Bafna, Parshwa Palkhiwala, Yash Mehta
Structural advisors : V.R. Shah, Mangesh B, Sankalpa, Manu Narendran
16 January 2017

A reciprocal frame (RF) is a self-supporting structure consisting of three or more mutually supporting linear members placed in a closed circuit. It is used as a system to make roof, bridge, shelter and furniture. It was used as a traditional roof system in Japan and China. It is now majorly used in Earthquake affected areas for a roof.

Starting with understanding the load transfer, forces and calculations using theory and prototypes, we ended up exploring the system in true scale. To understand the forces better, we decided to invert the RF Structure. The installation consisted of two RF’s wherein each frame had 12 linear members.

This was a part of Student-initiated Navaratri installation in the year of 2015 and thus lighting became an integral element. The materials used were timber for members, tension cables, turnbuckles, eyelets and U-clamps for suspension, folded steel plates for joining two members and LED strip lights for lighting.

The groove in each member where the adjacent member meets were derived using SketchUp as a modelling tool and created by using CNC machine and the grooves for indirect lighting were made using Hand router machine. The complete execution was done in 8 days and the budget was 13,000 INR.

Help and execution by Priyanka Awatramani (FA), Aashini Sheth (FA), Aanand Patel (SBST), Arpit Arora (SBST), Vipul (FabLab)

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