What is a bridge? A bridge could be anything as simple as a log laying across a creek. Or as sophisticated as the Golden Gate Bridge. A bridge is just something that helps us cross an obstacle, whether that be a river, ocean, swamp, canyon, or highway. At the most basic level, there are three types of bridges: Beam, Arch, and Suspension.
A revolutionary way to bend wood when building arched model bridges. This method is so simple it will blow your mind, but it really works.
This is a very simple yet elegant looking bridge that I built over Christmas break. This bridge spanned 16 inches and was made from 48 popsicle sticks. It held 75 pounds, which was right at what I was expecting.
I found pictures of some old trusses I built for Science Olympiad bridges. Most of these were built in the 2003-2004 school year. I thought I would post them to give examples of how these trusses could be used in model bridges
This kit is actually one of my first introductions to building model bridges. My mother bought this for me one year, thinking that I might like to build a model bridge kit. This bridge building kit from Amazon actually has three different bridges. It comes with all the supplies you need to build a suspension bridge, a truss bridge, and an arch bridge. All of these combined make this kit an excellent gift idea, or something you can build just for fun
This is an older bridge I came across when browsing through my old Science Olympiad photos. I used both Balsa and Basswood to build this bridge. This bridge was part of my design process which ended up with my SO winning bridge in 2004
I just completed a new toothpick bridge that’s quite different than my last one. It’s an arch made from curved trusses, formed once again with toothpicks and wood glue. This one won’t be tested either (sorry!) because it was made for a friend who creates custom action figure dioramas. But I designed the bridge to have the highest ratio of maximum load to bridge weight and some ad hoc tests made me pretty optimistic
These are the photos of a popsicle bridge that I made for a bridge building contest at my university in Spain. The weight of the bridge was 3.9kg, and the bridge held 700kg without breaking. This gives it an efficiency score of 180. The dimensions of underneath the arc are 90cm x 45cm.
I was never able to fully develop and use this bridge. I got this idea from talking with a Science Olympiad coach in Ohio. Now I wish I had gone ahead and put more work into this. The next year, the bridge rules changed so that I could not use this concept. The trick was to get the arches to the perfect length, so that they barely fit into the loading device. I had made these arches a bit too […]
Chamblee has always done well in Bridge Building. In 2001, they won the State finals in this event. This bridge is from the 2003 GA State Tournament, the same tournament the Booth Bridge is from.
Yes, this is one of the coolest bridges I have ever seen. Built by J.C. Booth Middle for the Science Olympiad Georgia State Finals in 2003, it placed 3rd. For those of you who don’t know Booth, keep reading. Booth Middle School has won the Georgia State Finals as a team for longer than I can remember, except for one year. They always have an excellent team, and provide much frustration and motivation for the rest of us. When I […]
This bridge won the 2004 GA State Science Olympiad Bridge Building competition. It weighed 9.47 grams, spanned 35cm, and held 15kg without breaking. The efficiency score was 1584. This bridge was made completely from Basswood. No Balsa or other wood was used. The top chord was made from 2 sticks of 1/16″ square pieces, laminated to a 1/32″ x 3/16″ piece. I steamed the wood for the top chord before bending or gluing. Learn more about bending wood. Theory This […]