AAA Drafting Blog

A SolidWorks designer talks about stuff related to CAD and mechanical design

Monday, June 23, 2008

Skyscaraper Mass Damper in use during earthquake

A mass damper is a huge weight suspended inside many new buildings to dampen the motion of the building caused when an earthquake strikes. When the building moves, the mass damper moves in the opposite direction to cancel out or "dampen" the motion.

The attached You Tube video shows the worlds largest mass damper in action in a skyscraper during an earthquake in Taiwan

The fabrication of that enormous weight on-site must have been a very tricky undertaking.

Even though the damper was put together in pieces, the parts still had to be lifted to the top of the skyscraper and installed with tight tolerances.

The damper was something that had to right the first time. Can you imagine what would have happened if they had got the calculations wrong.

SolidWorks Robotics University

Solidworks Robotics University went live on June 1st and provides students interested in robotics or mechanical engineering with an online alternative to summer school or science camp.

Students who enroll in SRU can learn the secrets of robot design, assembly, configuration, and operation. They can write or read reviews on the best parts, kits, and designs. They can share stories, pictures, and multimedia documenting their triumphs and defeats - and, of course, make predictions about the upcoming competitive season.

There are structured lessons, tutorials, event calendars, photos, videos, forums, blogs, chat, personal pages, and instruction for using SolidWorks(R) 3D CAD software for robot design. The university has donated 1,400 scholarship copies of SolidWorks 2007-2008 Student Edition software to registrants.

"Summer 'camp' can sharpen your game for serious robot competitions that begins in the fall," said Ryan Koehler, a freshman mechanical engineering student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. "Students around the world learn from one another, engage in the robotics community, and occasionally talk a little friendly smack."

"SolidWorks Robotics University is a refuge from an entirely unstructured summer vacation whether you're a robotics competitor, somebody who wants to learn SolidWorks, somebody who likes robotics, or somebody who thinks they might like robotics," said Marie Planchard, director of worldwide education markets for SolidWorks Corporation. "And you just might pick up some new math or science along the way."

Interested students can request an invitation to the self-paced academy by sending an e-mail to