Howe Truss Bridge

Have you wanted to make a strong popsicle stick bridge that used 100 popsicle sticks or less? This popsicle bridge was made from 98 unmodified popsicle sticks and WeldBond glue. It was 21 inches long, 4 inches tall, and 4 inches wide. It weighed about 150 grams, and held 140 pounds. With less than 100 popsicle sticks, that is a lot of strength in this bridge. Its efficiency score was 424.

This is the strongest popsicle bridge I have built so far.

I tested this bridge by putting the edges of the bridge on two books, and then placing a scale on the top of the bridge. Then I slowly lowered myself down on the scale with the help of two chairs. I carefully watched the scale to mark the exact spot of failure.

Before this bridge broke, I did hear several loud “popping” noises. This means several popsicle sticks came unglued. I probably could have stopped testing and re-glued those popsicle sticks. Had I done that, the bridge might have been able to hold even more.

That is the value of pre-testing your bridge. Evidently, a couple popsicle sticks weren’t glued on well enough, at least not as well as the others. That means I had several “weak links” that limit the strength of the bridge. Pre-testing allows you to identify those weak spots and fix them, without completely destroying your bridge.

Purchase Blueprints for this Bridge

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