Notice for Apple Mac users

Children's swing

The photo above illustrates why it is necessary to calculate a factor of safety into the design of structures.

Factor of safety is explained in the Structures Notes and Animations software package.

Sample Animations


Free crosswords for design & technology

Interactive crosswords and PDF versions.

Structures design and technology

Structures theory, animations and exercises are included in the the KS3 D&T software but they are also available as a separate package.

The contents are listed below:

  • Introduction: what is a structure? 
  • Frame structures
  • Shell structures
  • Combination of frame and shell structures
  • Stone structures
  • Brick and block structures
  • Concrete structures
  • Composites
  • Loads
  • Forces:
    • compression
    • tension
    • torsion
    • shear
    • bending
  • Structural sections
  • Joints in wooden structures (See details below)
  • Knock-down fittings
  • Joints in metal structures
    • welding
    • soldering and brazing
    • riveting
    • nuts, bolts, screws
  • Joints in plastic structures
  • Physical and chemical properties, and characteristics of materials used in structures
  • Support and reinforcement of structures
  • Equilibrium
  • Centre of gravity
  • Moments
  • Force diagrams
    • parallelogram of forces
    • triangle of forces
  • Testing structures
  • Interactive Exercises: exploring the qualities of structures / calculations / interpreting numeric information
  • Bridges 
    • beam bridges
    • continuous span bridge
    • simple span bridge
    • cantilever span bridge
    • cantilever with suspended span bridge
    • Warren deck truss bridge
    • Warren (through)Truss
    • Pratt Truss (through truss)
    • Howe Truss (through truss)
    • Lattice Truss (through truss)
    • Plate girder bridge 
    • Deck beam bridge
    • Orthotropic beam bridge
    • Rigid frame (inclined legs)
    • Rigid Frame (with V- legs)
    • Stone arch bridge
    • Open spandrel deck arch bridge
    • Spandrel braced arch bridge
    • Cantilever through truss bridge
    • Trussed deck arch bridge
    • Trussed through arch bridge
    • Ribbed arch bridge
    • Suspension bridge
    • Cable stayed bridge
  • Bridges: Newcastle bridges
  • Bridges: River Danube bridges from Vienna - Budapest

The Structures package includes the following wood joints animations:

  • The reason that wood joints are used
  • Butt joint
  • Lapped joint
  • Tongue and grooved joint
  • Finger joint / comb joint
  • Dovetail joint
  • Lapped dovetail joint
  • Housing joint
  • Corner bridle joint
  • Through mortice and tenon joint
  • Stopped mortice and tenon joint
  • "T" halving joint
  • Bare faced tenon joint
  • Dowelled joint
  • Cross halving joint
  • "T" bridle joint

The package also includes:

  • Workshop safety rules
  • Workshop safety in detail
  • Risk assessment exercises

Animations are used throughout to
illustrate processes and principles.

Example exercises are shown above.

If you can read the question, type 
your answer into the box , then 
click the Check Answer button.


The screen shots illustrate how animations are used on text pages to illustrate topics.

Frame Structures

Detailed animations explain processes such as the hand lay-up of GRP.



Learning Objectives

Students will learn that: 

  • there are various types of structures, including frame structures, shell structures, combination of frame and shell structures, and structures made from bricks, blocks, stone and composites
  • each structural type and each building material has its own specific technology
  • loads and other forces act on structures, including compression, tension, torsion, shear, bending forces
  • each material has specific chemical and physical properties
  • materials used to build structures can be reinforced and strengthened in various ways, including using structural sections and composites
  • equilibrium, moments, centre of gravity and force diagrams are used when designing structures
  • a safety factor is calculated into the design of structures
  • materials and components are fixed by temporary and  permanent ways by:
    • electric arc welding
    • soldering and brazing
    • riveting
    • nuts and bolts
    • adhesives
  • solid timber is very absorbent at its ends
  • the end of solid timber has "end grain"
  • gluing to end grain results in a weak joint
  • the aim of a wood joint is to: 
    • glue to the sides of timber whenever possible
    • include a mechanical joint 
  • joints are designed for particular purposes
  • there are a range of standard joints that are adapted for specific purposes.

Order now

Structures D&T can be found on our KS3 D&T software.

KS3 D&T: Single User Licence £40; Site Licence £80

Structures D&T: Single User Licence £30; Site Licence £60

Click here to place an order

Look at the massive savings on software bundles

Download links will be emailed to you/your school within 24 hours of receipt of your order.