Friday, September 12

Building a Strong SHIP Frame

Few can resist the allure of SHIPtember. Maybe it's all the amazing WIP pictures popping up in your Flickr feed. Maybe it is the prospect of fame, glory and a cool trophy. Maybe the idea of trying to build a SHIP in one month is so crazy that you have to try it at least once. 

In any case, you've decided to dive in. If you are a first-time SHIP builder, or even a seasoned veteran, the idea of building 100(or more) studs of pure spaciness might seem a little overwhelming. But don't worry, it's really not as hard as you think. The key to building a good SHIP is to start with a solid and sturdy frame. Once you have a frame to serve as a solid foundation, the rest of the SHIP will come along much easier.

Huib Versteeg (space_e on Flickr) has put together this very helpful illustration of a few different frame techniques. He was even kind enough to share the LDD file if you want a closer look.
In his own words:
"A-D are beam designs, where D is the weakest, least stiff, most wobbly in the up-down direction, C is about twice as stiff as D, whereas B is about 8 times as stiff as D. B and A are comparable, where A can be made without any technic parts.

1-4 are just general standard Pythagorean Triple 
triangles, with 1-3 being different scales of the 3/4/5 triangle and 4 being a 5/12/13 triangle. Adding truss type structures can be overkill, but if you're adding a lot of weight it may be worth it."

I put together this test frame to illustrate how these techniques can be put to use. (Here is the LDD file.)
This is of course just one example of you how can do it. This particular frame is super strong and could hold a lot of weight. Like Huib said, adding too many trusses is probably overkill, although it can help you achieve certain shapes. Depending on how many Technic beams you have, you may also need to modify it to use more regular bricks, for example by using beam design A.

Now get off the computer and go build a SHIP!

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