Full-Scale Models

Forensic Engineering Case Study

Full-scale models are sometimes used to gather data and help explain findings. In this particular case, a full-scale model of a bridge railing was built to help gather and analyze data. The data is then used to help experts develop their opinions and visually explain their findings.

Video Transcription

William Neale: Well, there’s sometimes we get cases where we want to demonstrate some concept. We try and do it with animations or with graphics, and it’s a good way of doing it, but it’s not the best way. So sometimes the full-scale physical models are a great way to demonstrate, especially complex motion concepts. So we figure out what the full-scale model needs to look like, in terms of its size and its shape, its scale, make sure that it’s identical to the actual condition, as close as possible.  We’re going to use 3/4″ on the outside and they’ll be hollow inside. We’ll put them together with some domino joints. It’ll make them nice and strong and they’ll still be lightweight. And then we started fabricating it. What we’re trying to do at Kinetic Corp is really just provide great data. Grabbing great data is, there’s different ways of doing it. Sometimes we do it with numbers and calculations. Sometimes we do it visually.  In this particular case, having something visual for both experts and the jury to physically touch and to interact with is a great way of both collecting the data and then demonstrating that data.  With the full-scale model we can then interact according to different concepts or issues or theories about the case and test different scenarios.  Nice and strong.  Well, we’ve finished building all the pieces and components. We’ve double checked all the measurements. We’ve even tested it out to make sure that it’s nice and stable. The last step is to paint it.  For this case, we did a scene inspection. We collected a ton of data in the scene inspection from scanning it. We needed all the geometry to be identical in our model as it was in the accident conditions. We matched the color of the paint to the color of the railing that we obtained during the inspection, so that across the board we were making a a perfect replica.

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