Bridge Building Instructions

Bridge Building Instructions


Use triangles – they are an engineer’s best friend when building bridges. Use a lot of popsicle sticks – sheer mass can perform very well. One team plugged in an iron, turned it upside-down, made a little pot out of aluminum foil and then melted glue in it so that they had a pot of glue that they could dip things in. In my competition, I set a time limit and so it was very important that teams be able to work together and develop a plan so that they could build their bridge in time.

Watch the video and make sure to download the pdf to get all the juicy details on how to make your own popsicle stick bridge Or subscribe in itunes and it will be downloaded automatically for you! – PDF Link

4 thoughts on “Bridge Building Instructions

  1. cmpalmer says:

    In my engineering Statics class in college, we had to construct a bridge out of paper/cardboard, white glue, and paint. The weigth, length, width, height, and size of center gap (at least x high in the middle and y wide at between the outside supports) limits were given (I don’t remember them off hand, but I’ll measure my bridge).

    The bridges were then tested to destruction on a hydraulic press by applying pressure to a 1″ square in the center of the span.

    Grades/awards were given for most weight held, highest weight held to bridge weight ratio, and aesthetics. I built mine out of thick art board by making triangular girders glued to flat supports. It held 212 lbs before deforming and ranked in the top 10 on weight ratios and won “most aesthetic”. The winners on weight took cardboard and glued sheets together to make plywood, cut the bridges out with bandsaws, and drilled holes to get the weight down. They were much heavier than mine, but under the limit, and some of them held around 1,000 lbs.

    I’ve still got my bridge – I’ll try to post some pictures to the Make group this weekend.

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