Links and Resources

Here I have complied what I believe to be the best list of websites that you will find useful. All of them have relevant model structure, bridge and tower information, some sell balsa and basswood, and others contain useful tips. Some of these sites have a specific competition or goal in mind, but you can always take the principles and adapt them to your needs.

Bridge and Tower Design:

Bridge Building
A gold mine of links and resources to model bridge building related websites.

Bridge Designer
This website is a free program that allows you to design a virtual truss, add a load,and see where the forces end up. This may be a a bit difficult to understand, but very useful.

ABCD’s Bridge Design Tips for Kids
Pictures of balsa and spaghetti bridges, and a few tips.

Popsicle Bridges

Building a Popsicle-Stick Bridge
How to build a popsicle bridge. Includes photos of several designs.

Companies that Sell Balsa and Basswood:

Balsa Wood Inc
Balsa Wood Inc sells a wide variety of shapes and sizes of Balsa wood. They have sticks, sheets, and blocks to fit your model making needs.

Balsa Sheets from Amazon

Balsa Sheets from Midwest Products
Midwest Products has been selling Balsa wood for a long time, and they know their business.

Specialized Balsa
A recognized leader in the industry. Specializes in Balsa wood, but also sells Bass and Birch, and many other wood accessories. Recommended.

National Balsa
This is a online company that sells balsa and bass wood for your models.

Balsa Supply
Sells several different types of wood. Minimum order of $50.00.

Balsa Cabin
UK company, sells Balsa and Spruce.

USA Hobby
Offers both Balsa and Basswood in strips and sheets.

Bridge Building Competitions
Website about an annual bridge competition. Contains many photos of bridges from past competitions. Also has many links to bridge sites.

Manilla File Folder Bridge
Winners receive a scholarship and a laptop. The software is free and can be downloaded anytime.

International Bridge Building Contest
This competition is probably the biggest in the nation. Given rules and materials, you must design and build the most efficient bridge. Contains pictures of past bridges, as well as their efficiency scores.

Bridge Games:

Bridge Builder Games
In the mood for some fun? Check out this site.

Build n Bust it
Virtually build and bust a bridge.

Infinity Quiz
A monthly quiz based on some projects of a specialized bridge engineering company based in North Vancouver, Canada. The idea is to share some practical principles with anyone who is interested in the art of bridge/structural engineering. Check out your knowledge by taking this quiz.

Information about Balsa Wood:

WoodBin: Balsa
A little information about Balsa wood. The rest of the site has a lot of information about wood and woodworking in general. Has a large links page.

Balsa Wood Bridge Info
Article explaining how to build a balsa bridge. Also has a chart comparing the strength of Balsa to other woods.

Interesting Facts About Balsa Wood
In-depth study on the properties of Balsa wood. Shows the three grain types, and explains their uses.

Kits and Software:
Home of ModelSmart, and model bridge design program. Contains several pages of good information, including a model bridge project.

Balsa Wood Bridges
A CD jammed packed with pictures that will help you design and build your bridge.

Trusses and Truss Design:

Bridge Basics
How to identify different trusses.

Truss Bridge Library
Explains how a truss works. Includes pictures of a Warren, Howe, and Pratt truss.

Bridge Truss Designs
A user-friendly guide to trusses. Simple and sweet.

General Links:

Craft Stick Bending
Great resource for bending popsicle sticks and any other kind of wood. Highly recommended that you check out this website for a simple method for bending wood for your arch bridges or other projects.

Engineering Education Service Center
The Engineering Education Service Center provides service and resources for mentors and pre-engineering students.
Has links to many aspects of real and model bridges. Includes a message board.

Hub Hobby Shop
Resource of links about all aspects of modeling. Includes a online store.

Links to bridge related sites. Includes a learning center.

How Stuff Works

Other Links

The Orchid Grower
A Juvenile Forensic Science Adventure Novel

Featuring woodworking software, online utilities, furniture plans, supplies, and woodworking reference information.

Related Posts:

Post Information

17 Responses to “Links and Resources”

  1. First Timer - November 13, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    This is a link to my bridge video on youtube: (if you want you can put it on the links page)

  2. Garrett Boon - November 14, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    I added your video to my Balsa Bridge Video section:

  3. First Timer - November 15, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    thanks gb

  4. Raj - July 4, 2009 at 11:21 am

    We are a specialized bridge engineering company based in North Vancouver, Canada. Here is a link to our monthly quiz modeled on some of our many interesting projects. The idea is to share some practical principles with anyone who is interested in the art of bridge/structural engineering. If you find this useful, you can add a link on your webpage for interested students to get easy access to this resource.



  5. Bill Lee - November 23, 2009 at 6:25 am

    I would ask you to include us in your list of vendors of balsa wood. Lonestar Balsa is the resurrection of Lonestar Models after the devastating fire in 2007. We have been supplying balsa to modelers for well over 30 years. We can provide all balsa needs for bridge builders.

    Thanks for your consideration.

    Bill Lee

    • MilkMan - February 1, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      Umm where is it that your balsa store presides??? Because they would need that if they were to add you to their page of balsa wood suppliers.

  6. Hong Kawaa - January 6, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Hello! I’ve been a long time reader, but am having trouble viewing your site in Opera today. Did you update something?

  7. Brad Griffith - June 5, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Hi Garrett
    Please consider my site as a resource link on your site. I’m doing engineering skills for Boy Scouts, Girl Scout, Home Schoolers ect. I have your site on my resource page, is that OK Please advise.
    Thanks Brad

  8. teds woodworking projects - June 16, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    i hope u wont mind if i share your material with my followers as well.. this is good stuff!

  9. shawn - March 6, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Where can I downlond the west point bridge designer?


  10. Melissa Phillips-Tucker - March 20, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Thank you stopping by my blog the other day (, and commenting on my students’ bridges! Your website is very cool, and has so much useful information that I know will be useful for future model bridge building projects!

  11. Sarah Alexander - April 7, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Do you have any idea where I could buy a large set of foam or plastic blocks that would be used to build an arch bridge? I want it to be as large as possible, up to 5 or 6 feet tall even. I haven’t found anything like it on the internet, yet.

    • Garrett Boon - April 7, 2011 at 4:30 am

      Sarah, I don’t fully understand what you need. Are you needing something to bend wood on for the arch bridge? What exactly are the foam or plastic blocks going to be used for?

  12. soucie - April 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    hello…i’ve built a couple of bridge with teriyaki sticks…i’m interested to see other modelers images, can’t find any in Google’s Images or any other known resource…can you help me? thank you

  13. Nathaniel Wilkerson - July 7, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    For modeling and experimenting with roof trusses, check out:

  14. MilkMan - February 1, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    This is a very helpful site that has helped me with my bridge project. My restrictions are very specific and I thought I was going to be in a hole trying to make a design following them and I then found this site and was able to find a way. Thanks again GarretBridges!


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