A truss might be used to support a conveyor as here at the Port of Redwood City.
  Or by interconnecting trusses, one might produce a plane of framing called a space frame.  Here is an example at a movie theater in Mountain view.
  Space frames are used when you wish to cover a large area using the very light construction and with a minimum number of support columns.
  In this closer view you can see the individual trusses and how they run in perpendicular directions.
  Freeway signs are trusses too.
  In this closer view, you can see that small horizontal trusses are present at the top and bottom of the cantilevered sign.  They transfer wind loads back to the large round column section.
  Or if one wanted to see trusses used on a very large scale, the Eastern span of the Bay Bridge is a fine example.
If properly constructed and braced, trusses can be designed to span great distances.  The simple examples shown above extend our method from the previous page.  See the photos for examples of trusses and where they are used.

When engineers want to see a visual representation of the forces within a truss, we draw a partial diagram of the truss and calculate the forces at the broken members.  An example of such a free-body diagram is shown at the bottom of the above examples.

On our next page, we'll take the segment of truss at the bottom of the above examples and turn it into another, hopefully familiar type of structure.