I can easily see how aluminum could be the material of choice in deck structures.
I have been using aluminum structural profiles in machine building since 1990.
They are generally light, corrosion resisitant, (if anodized properly) structurally efficient, cost effective, and they have a predictable yield strength and consistiency. They come in numerous shapes and sizes. I have a cold saw with a 20 foot long table and stock the popular sizes of structural aluminum for machine building.
You wont find any wooden, decks, flowerboxes or other structures in my back yard.
Even the patio furniture is cast aluminum
The deck boards they are making out of recycled wood and plastic look good.
This whole Erector Set discussion got me looking online. It seems that Erector Sets have gone the way of Lego, with sets that are designed to build specific toys. When I was a kid, Erector Sets, like Lego, were raw materials. The design was entirely up to the kid. I never knew quite what I was building until I ran out of parts. By the way, some of the sets cost $80 now.
Over the last few months, I've watched a metal structure -- a large multi-unit, six-story retirement home -- constructed in my neighborhood. All metal, from the girders to the shiny walls and pre-form metal stairways. I've been amazed at how much it's like an Erector Set. Huge portions come on large trucks, and 10-story cranes lift them into place. Snap, snap, and the pieces go together. Way more fun to watch than the usual frame stucco here in Albuquerque.
Reading the comments about erector sets brings to mind very happy memories of the myriad of erector set components that I had strewn around the house and the many crazy mechanical contraptions I'd develop. That was my indoctrination to Mechanical Engineering. Now, as a homeowner that has finished a modest size deck/pergola project in my yard last summer, I wish I had known about this system. I'm a big proponent of low-maintenance systems around the house. The aluminum components would have been a blessing especially at the house connection and ground level locations!
I'm with you, Doug. I never cared much for hammer-and-bruised-thumb projects much as my dad tried to drag me in. I remember pounding wooden shingles on the house all summer long when I was a teenager. I loved my Erector Set.
The 3D printing revolution seems to have a knack for quickly moving technology ahead by way of collaborative effort and even a little friendly competition -- all of course in the name of scientific advancement.
Advantech has launched a new series of motion-control I/O modules to meet the increased demands that come with more distributed industrial systems that require control of a growing number of axes and devices.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is