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Why this shape? Exploring the historical and structural significance of the Arch part 1

Arches are features that can be seen in almost every city in the world. They have existed for a long time and were used to span open spaces. They have endured through time, often outlasting other structures. 

In this case study we are exploring the reason for their existence, what makes them so special and what we can learn from them.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the structural significance of arches compared to straight beams across some gap
  • Explain the connection between material properties on the usability of a material for specific use cases
  • Understand the influence of material availability on engineering developments throughout history
  • Understand the links between materials and properties

Applicable Courses for Use

  • Pre-university STEM teaching 
  • Introductory courses at university (i.e architecture, built environment, engineering)

Downloadable Content

  • Read Me Instructor’s Guide
  • Arch case study PDF
  • Arch toy-size CAD model STL file
  • Arch building support CAD model STL file
Materials for Arches

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