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A Practical Guide to Tensegrity Design

2nd edition

Copyright 2004-2008 by Robert William Burkhardt, Jr.
P.O. Box 426164, Cambridge, MA 02142-0021

Version 2.30
September 17, 2008

This material was originally issued in book form in 1994. LaTeX was used to format that first edition. For the second edition, the LaTeX material has been revised and used to generate a PDF document. In addition, the book has been converted to HTML and XHTML using the MathML presentation markup for the equations. Links to both versions and my offer for a printed version:

Guide in PDF format

Guide in HTML/XHTML/MathML format

Printed copies of the book are available for purchase for US$70 (MA residents add $3.50 tax). This includes shipping in the continental United States. Outside the continental US, please include money to cover shipping and indicate your shipping preference (shipping weight is 24 oz. = 1.5 lbs. = 680 g). If you wish to print the book yourself from the PDF (recommended) or XHTML/MathML (not recommended) files, you should send me a US$15 royalty check for each copy printed or duplicated from another copy. I will consider discounts for bulk self-printing requests and book orders. The plastic-comb-bound copies I supply have better renderings for some of the ray-traced illustrations though the ones on-line are adequate. The six color illustrations are printed in color, and everything is printed on high-quality paper. Make checks payable to Robert Burkhardt and send them to Tensegrity Solutions, Box 426164, Cambridge, MA 02142-0021. Prices are subject to change.

Currently the XHTML/MathML pages work with Firefox, Mozilla and its derivatives ( Netscape 7 and others), and (to a reasonable extent) Amaya. Periodically I look into getting the math pages to work with Microsoft's Internet Explorer as well, but at this point I haven't found a method that satisfies me. I've kept the non-math pages (Table of Contents, List of Figures, List of Tables, Revisions, Preface, Acknowledgements, Chapter 1, Sections 2.1, 2.5, 4.1, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1, 7.1, Appendix A, References, and this page) in HTML to be accessible to as many browsers as possible.

In addition to the book's examples, you can find structures I've constructed using the techniques described in the book in my Synergetics Gallery. Links to VRML models of selected illustrations from the book can be found in a special section of my VRML Tensegrity Models page. My book was reviewed in the April, 2007, issue (Vol. 48, No. 153) of the Journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures. The review was instructive, and pointed to some useful terms which would help bring it into the civil engineering mainstream. It didn't mention the attention I give to modeling non-point nodes which I haven't seen elsewhere and I think is an important part of the book.

Your comments and questions are appreciated. Please email them to or send them to the U. S. Postal Service address above.