This set of experiments allow the student to observe the response of a typical load bearing structure such as an elastic beam or rigid jointed frame when subjected to applied load actions.
By carefully studying the deformed shapes when different frames are loaded vertically or laterally, students will be able to develop an understanding of the importance of the effects of different support conditions, or beam to column connections (pinned or rigid). They can then compare the experimental observations with their qualitative predictions of the structural response. The ability to predict structural response is essential in judging the correctness of results obtained by hand methods of analysis or by results obtained from a computer analysis. With powerful computer methods of structural analysis readily available to most engineers today, this ability is very important otherwise gross errors can be generated at the press of a button and mistakes can easily go unnoticed if the engineer cannot independently interpret the output.