Chapter 2

Basic Tensegrity Structures

2.1 Basic Tensegrity Structures: Introduction

This chapter presents some simple tensegrity structures. In this form, the basic features of tensegrity structures are most readily grasped. In the context of these structures, various mathematical tools are illustrated which can be applied to tensegrity design. Some of these structures are simple enough that the member lengths can be expressed in algebraic formulas. But even with these simple structures, iterative numerical tools are needed to reach the final answer.

These simple structures permit some mathematical approaches which are intuitively appealing but which are difficult to apply to more complex structures. The intuitive approaches deal explicitly with angular measures. The alternative Cartesian approach involves no angles, only points and distances between them. For computations, the Cartesian approach is simple and powerful, but the physical reality of the structure is less apparent in the mathematics, and the approach needs to be supplemented with other tools when structure visualization is necessary.