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Roller Coaster track design

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BuildIts in Progress: Roller Coaster Track Design. Half the fun in building a roller coaster is all the trig calcs!

The East Campus Roller Coaster happened, and was a great success.  Here’s some proof.  I didn’t get too many pictures of the construction process, since I was busy with the construction itself, so as I wait for other people’s photos to trickle in, here are the details on how the shape of the roller coaster’s track was designed.

To start off though, a brief back story about the roller coaster tradition and how I ended up being one of the people in charge of this year’s ‘coaster.

As far as I can tell, the first EC roller coaster, dubbed “8.01: The Ride” was built in 2004 (making this the 10th anniversary coaster).  The last roller coaster, “The Reverse Cowgirl” was in 2010, and had to be taken down prematurely since they weren’t permitted.  So since then, EC has avoided roller coasters.

I’ve been thinking about the roller coaster since rush last year.  Pretty early on I was joined by Jaguar and then Wesley, hall-mates and fellow Mech E. 16’s.  During the fall and winter, we started thinking about general track shape and construction method, and as soon as EC’s Rush Chairs were elected near the beginning of spring semester 2014, we started talking with them about getting a roller coaster approved.

This post will cover track design.  A construction post will come later.


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