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Retro tutorial – Week 2

Producing an FBD is a creative activity.

There’s no better way to consolidate learning in Engineering Mechanics than quietly working through problems using pencil and paper (that’s why we call this a ‘Retro Tutorial’).

This is a fine example of why the retro-tutorials are included. Producing an FBD (Free Body Diagram) is a creative activity. You start with a ‘real-world’ scenario and you need to end up with an abstraction of it to analyse.

Drawing an FBD from scratch is so different from selecting a preferred solution from a gallery of options. This forward-looking format is much more like real life, so see what you can do without looking at the solution first.

Depending upon your grasp of basic trigonometry you might want to do the revision questions on that topic. But whatever your degree of prior knowledge it would be good to do at least some of the problems on components and resultants.

This tutorial is in two parts: 1 Free-Body Diagrams and 2 basic trigonometry, with a bonus question at the end.

The FBD questions are highly recommended. Expect to spend up to 20 minutes.

The questions on trigonometry will be revision for some, and, perhaps, less familiar to others. If you are confident in your trigonometry just review them. Otherwise go though them in detail and check out the solutions. The time to do these will depend on what you already know.

The bonus question is quick and (I think) fun.

Download the tutorial in the Downloads section below and work through the questions. It includes solutions. It’s probably best if you try the problem first before looking at the solution.

Talking points

  • How did you get on with the FBDs?
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Through Engineers' Eyes - Introducing the Vision: Engineering Mechanics by Experiment, Analysis and Design

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