October '21

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9 8 G R A P H I C S P R O O C T O B E R 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M larger sections were installed. I compared notes on why one 50'- tall pylon sign on the west end of town required a different footer and only one pipe than a similar sign located closer to the lake that needed two and a huge spread footer. My point is this: simply paying attention to what has been done by others is a free way to learn how the basics of engineering affect which materials are used and how they are attached to one another. Gather, watch, observe, collect, hoard, and dissect every engineering drawing you can find and learn from them. (Editor's note: Always pay attention to codes, zoning laws, and other factors. If you don't have the qualifications to install something, seek the proper channels.) STEPS TO THE NEW DISPLAY Now that the background is explained, and it's clear that I am not an engineer, here are the steps I took to design the new rolling display frame. I realized that the existing design had a couple of great concepts that it didn't implement well. One of those concepts was the top access panel to get to the EMC displays. It was a good idea in theory, but the reality of this unit being accessed from courtside would never realistically happen, hence that feature was not able to be utilized during a game to fix an issue with the EMC. I changed this completely. I also used scaled drawings, and sketches of people sitting, stand- ing, and using the structure to determine the correct height for the table, the top, the width, and the visual opening that butted up against the court surface. The wheels on the existing structure failed. I made sure to use a beefier, larger locking wheel. The combined weight of the EMC panels was over 300 pounds; therefore, the frame had to be de- signed to support this weight, but also prevent the whole thing from flipping forward. It required some creative engineering and counterweights. There were no places for branding, so a panel was created on each end for the team's logo or for other graphic messages (Team emblems had not been installed at the time of the photos). This unit's previous padding attempts did not hold up as planned. The new pads created withstand the rigors of blood, sweat, and beers. The structure required a lot of options for current and future audio and video ports, compartments, connectors, and adaptors — this new design provides a plethora of choices. We chose to create a static attachment rather than spend time working out the details of an articulated connection point. Aluminum is a lot lighter than steel. Aluminum is a lot weaker than steel. Planning for a design where aluminum must perform like steel requires gussets, braces, heavy wall aluminum, and a lot of careful planning. How do you simulate aluminum failure without engineering it? Think of it this way: if you are holding a box straight out from your chest, your arms would get weak, so you may want to place a support under your elbows to assist your arms. It could go from your elbow to your waist at a 45-degree angle, providing the support your tired arms need. That same idea holds true for designing an aluminum frame. Here you can see the backs of the display units after they were installed.

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