Monkey Bars Project

This is just quick post to talk about a great 3D sketch tool that I came across last week. I used to use SketchUp but that is not free anymore, I tried a couple of others, but they didn’t click for me. It needs to feel intuitive when you are starting from scratch. Monkey Bars image

I don’t want to read a manual for an hour to figure out how to create a circle. Tinkercad was intuitive, once I got stuck into it and started creating objects, everything I expected should work did, like copy pasting an object or using the arrow keys to move them around. Once I had the basics I was then able to focus on the specifics of the length of the post or the distances between them.

The project I was mocking up is a backyard climbing frame that I plan to put together in July. I have ordered the posts and I have the monkey bars. I now need to get into the finer details of exactly how it will all connect. This is where the visualisation proved really valuable, I was forced to think about if the weight from the monkey bars is to rest on the post I will need to space them a certain way, and then how will the other side be supported, and will there be enough of a gap?

Anyway, I have my design and I’m quite proud of it. I watched a lot of youtube videos of people who had built calisthenic workout areas and I’ve tried to incorporate as much as I can into the 10-foot x 10-foot space. It is 50-50 for the kids and for me. I probably won’t spend much time on the monkey bars, but I full intend to use the pull up bars. Mostly I hope that this is an investment for their future health and fitness, as I believe climbing, pushing and pulling your own body weight is just great for kids, really for anyone.

My Monkey Bars project This is a publicly viewable link to the project which is a nice touch as I wanted to share it with people. The posts are 150mm x 150mm x 3.6m long, ¼ of which will be below ground in concrete. I wanted a pullup bar I needed to jump up to, so I can hang and stretch out on. Hopefully the 2.5-2.7m high bar will be right, if not I’m stuck with it now. It was quite hard to find longer posts, my guess is that most fences are not that tall, so most posts aren’t either. It is when you go from idea to materials you are hit with these sorts of practical issues. I know I want parallel bars, but what diameter are they supposed to be, and can I get that easily? I’m looking into scaffolding and handrail suppliers for the bars. I guess I’ll find out if the 10 foot of bars will be strong enough or not. I’m sure there is engineering specification that I could use to try calculating loads but to be honest I don’t know how. Since the bars will be bolted into the posts, they can be removed and replaced if that aren’t up to the job.

Thanks for reading. Conor

Written on June 30, 2019
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