Written Report Format
Design of a Wooden Truss

(from David Hallís Web Page)

The report must contain ALL of the sections listed below.  All pages must be numbered, all figures and tables must have captions and be referred to, and the report should be computer generated (although minor handwritten additions are allowable if it is difficult or impossible for you to do it in a computer generated way). An excessively long report is not desired (10 pages should be more than enough), excluding calculations in the appendix.  

Title Page The Title Page must contain the project name, the names of the students submitting the report, the course number and section, the course title, the instructor's name, and the date.

Executive Summary The Executive Summary should be a clear and concise summary of the report which briefly describes the problem and highlights the most important conclusions. The executive summary should be as clear, specific, and quantitative as possible. No more than 1/2 to 1 page.  For example, "A fifty pound load was applied to a cantilever beam in increments of five pounds resulting in deflections ranging from 0.05 inches to 0.5 inches. The measured deflection was linearly proportional to the applied loading as . . . ". Be quantitative and direct, and avoid referring to the experiments as an exercise that is required for ENGR 220. 

Design Objectives: Introduce the design problem and state the constraints (listing of the types and amounts of materials permitted, span, loading location, etc), the objectives to be achieved, and any optimizations used to achieve the objectives.  This section should include a drawing of the support system and constraints as given on the web page and by the materials furnished.  This section should take no more than one page. 

Design Assumptions:  State all assumptions made and the theoretical principals to be used.

Material Properties:  State all material properties used in the design of the truss, and reference their source(s).

Design Alternatives Considered:  Provide sketches of all truss alternatives considered and the reasons for rejection of those not analyzed in detail.

Design Calculations:  Embed your design analysis in a text based format that refers to the plots and other figures that summarize the results of the calculations.  Provide a sample calculation for each type of calculation performed (reactions, member force, member stress and buckling), and refer to the remaining calculations in the Appendices.  The details for all members should be included in a single table which summarizes the calculations.  The required format for the table is given here

This section should also include a dimensioned sketch of the truss.  The members in compression should be colored blue, the members in tension should be colored red, and the zero force members should be colored yellow.  All joints on the truss should be labeled with letters (A, B, C, . . .), and these letters should correspond to the member designations used in the discussion and in the table required above.

Predicted Failure Load:  Analysis of the failure load should be completed in this section, and the calculations should be summarized in a table whose format is given here.  The estimated failure load should be provided, and the joint(s) or member(s) which will fail first should be identified.  You should discuss the calculations that led to your answer. 

Fabrication:  Discuss the fabrication methods used to build the truss(es) with particular emphasis on the work done joining the members.

Estimated Cost of Design:  Based on an hourly billing rate of $60/hr for engineering services and $35/hr for fabrication work, estimate the total cost of the truss design.  

References List the references in the order used.  Use a standard format to list the references such as:

Hall, David E., "Course Notes for Engineering 220," Louisiana Tech University, College of Engineering and Science, Fall 1999.

Apendices In Appendix 1, provide all calculations for the final design done by the method of joints and/or the method of sections.  Give each appendix in numerical order (Appendix 1, Appendix 2, etc.).  Lengthy calculations, lengthy data sheets, raw data, or other supporting material is often included as an appendix to a report.  This information may be hand written.

 NOTE   The report must be submitted in an engineering folder which can be obtained at the bookstore.  The report must be stapled to the back page of the folder at the upper left hand corner.  Failure to follow these guidelines will result in a deduction of 10%.