I am doing a project on similarity for my geometry
class. I have to make a small scale replica of the roller coaster Superman
the Escape. I know I have to multiply all the measurements by like
1/205 to make it around two feet tall, but how do I figure out the curve of
the ride and how wide to make it? Any help would be gratefully
You are on the right track regarding scale.
The accepted practice uses rulers
marked off in given distances. An architectural
scale,is triangular shape, with 12 different scales.
The explanation in words gets complicated.
The scales are used to convert something
in feet to inches, either for drawings
or models. Something 12 feet becomes
at an 1/8 th inch equals a foot scale
one and a half inches.
Let us look at your model, you did not
mention the height but a guess, say 50 feet.
or 50 x 12 = 600 inches. If the model was
1 inch equals 1 inch, that is "full scale"
or a 50 foot high model.
But if 1/8 inch equals one foot, that is
50 X 1/8 "= 6.25 inches. More convenient
for drawings, or models.
The other common scale in use is an engineers scale.
Like the architectural it has 12 scales, but instead
of feet and inches, it is metric, or in 10 ths.
It is used more for larger distances, like trying
to make a drawing for something 200 foot long.
Back to your roller coaster. The physical construction
related to scale, may be issues. For example,
the rails. It could be their width is no more
than a line width, will you try for three dimensions,
or just opt out for drawing a line. Same goes for
the railroad ties , their spacing. Often, it is best
to think backwards, how big is the final product,
how will you get it to where you want to go. It very
well may be partial disassembly. It will be best
to make those plans from the beginning. Their is
a classic joke of building a boat in your garage,
then having to tear the garage down to get the boat out.
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Update: June 2012