What is a reciprocal frame? I asked myself the same question when I first stumbled onto this system while browsing the web. Its text book definition might read something like this; A reciprocal frame is a class of self-supporting structure made of three or more beams, and which requires no center support to create roofs, bridges or similar structures.
We all know the benefits of clear-span structures, and while there are simpler ways of achieving a clear span, there are inherent qualities of reciprocal frames that I admire. There is the obvious design characteristic of the system, but what I find draws me the most is the philosophy that I see in the arrangement of the individual members. While the system is self-supporting, it relies on the co-operation of its individual beams to create a functioning structure. It is that subtle quality that I appreciate most about the system.
While exploring these systems I noticed a severe lack of information on two dimensional or flat systems.Naturally I wanted to know more, which has led to the article below. In the following text I will be describing my research and theory regarding flat RF's.
Before I go any further I must give credit where it is due. Chris Drake was a fellow timber framing apprentice and help me consider ideas and theory. Josh Jackson was my adviser for the project and helped at every turn guide me and helped organize my research.