All Design Articles

25 Bridge Building Tips

1. Humidity affects the weight of your bridge. Keep your bridge in a closed container with a few grains of rice. or some silica gel packets. 2. Go easy with the glue bottle. As a general rule of thumb, if you can see it then you are using too much. 3. Keep your hands clean! Oils and grease from your skin can ruin your glue joints. 4. Perfect practice makes perfect. The more bridges you build, the better your construction […]

5 Steps to Building a Model Bridge

This ebook, 5 Steps to Building a Model Bridge, answers the most common questions people have about building bridges. In the ebook I outline the steps of building a model bridge, and then walk people through the actual construction of a bridge. The ebook contains many photos and illustrations, as well as 25 bonus tips.

Bridge Designer Tutorial

The Bridge Designer is perhaps the greatest online tool for building model bridges. It allows you to design a virtual truss, put a load on in, and it calculates how the forces are spread out. Amazing.

Bridge Height

All the time I am asked “How tall should I make my bridge?” This article will attempt to answer this question by illustrating a principle in model bridge building. There is no cut and dry answer, as you should evaluate your bridge specifications and guidelines and conduct experiments to reach the best answer for you. How Changing Height Affects a Bridge This is our control bridge. The bridge is 8 inches long and 3 inches tall. I have added two […]

Bridge Terms

Hey everybody once again it’s me, First Timer. I thought the one thing that would make this website even better would be some vocabulary on the parts of bridges. Here are a few terms that might help if you ever need to describe different aspects of a truss or bridge. Let’s start with “Arch”…

Bridge Types

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.

Elevated Bridge

Science Olympiad is bringing back the Bridge Building event in 2009, except in a modified form. The event for ’09 is Elevated Bridge, which will provide an interesting and refreshing challenge. The draft rules that are very interesting and make for a good read. Check them out as the new bridge event looks to be a refreshing change. Elevated Bridge Resources: Diary of a Bridge Builder SciOly Elevated Bridge Thread

Fernbank Bridge Numero Dos

If you have visited my Projects page, you probably have seen the Fernbank Bridge. It is coming up on a year since I built that bridge. Original Fernbank Bridge Which means, it is about time to build a sequel. Unfortunately, the date for the Atlanta Toothpick Bridge Competition (where I test the Fernbank Bridge) and our Science Olympiad regional competition are the same. It also just so happens that I am busy every single time slot. The good news is […]

Forces that Act on Bridges

Bridges must be able to withstand several types of forces. The two most common to model bridges are compression and tension, pushing and pulling respectively. The other two are torsion (twisting) and shear. Learn what these forces mean so that you can build a better model bridge.

Howe Truss

The Howe Truss was designed by William Howe in 1840. It used mostly wood in construction and was suitable for longer spans than the Pratt truss. Therefore, it became very popular and was considered one of the best designs for railroad bridges back in the day. Many Howe truss bridges exist in the North West United States, where wood is plentiful.

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