Ultimate Popsicle Bridge Design?

By on April 18, 2011 -- Modified on October 5, 2016

This is quite an interesting popsicle bridge video. The maker claims it is the “ultimate popsicle bridge design” because it held 600 pounds. He also states in the description that he spent a large amount of time optimizing the Warren Truss. This is also probably part of his “ultimate design” claim. What do you think? Is this truly the best popsicle stick bridge design?

Thoughts About the Design

He states that this bridge should have been able to hold close to 1200 pounds from what he worked out on paper. It only held about half of that weight, which raises a question in me of, “what went wrong?” Also, if the bridge held 600 pounds and weighed 500 grams, it only has an efficiency score of 546. Compare that to my Short Pratt Truss Bridge Updated which had an efficiency score of over 1200. Granted, his bridge was longer, I’d guess around two feet long which is double that of my Pratt Truss popsicle bridge. Has anyone here been able to achieve a higher efficiency score with a similar length popsicle bridge?

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5 thoughts on “Ultimate Popsicle Bridge Design?”

  1. Why did he expect so much? Has any popsicle stick brige held that much weight?

    By Avi -- April 23, 2016
  2. I will note that, while his design, which had a length of about 2 feet, held 600 lbs for an efficency score of 1200, was probably so-so by popsicle stick bridge building standards, Garrett’s Fernbank Project was 1 foot 4 inches, weighed 37 grams and held 346 lbs.  Garretts bridge had an efficency score of 4200.

    So this video’s bridge probably wasn’t the Ultimate Popsicle Stick Bridge Design, as nothing is ever the “ultimate” of something unless that “ultimate” thing became “ultimate” right as the technology was coming out of use.

    Along with this post, I’ll post a link to the Fernbank Bridge project page, right here:
    http://www.garrettsbridges.com/photos/fernbank-bridge/

    By ImperatorPavel -- October 25, 2011
  3. I made a 30 inch 347 gram bridge hat held 993 lbs with an efficiency score of 1298. But since the strength of a beam, and similarly a bridge, decreases with it’s length squared, I have another way of writing the efficiency as Load/Weight*Length^2, which for my bridge came out to be 8113 ft^2.

    By Darrel Belvin -- June 2, 2011
  4. Looks like an evolution of my design (both in terms of shape and construction method). http://www.garrettsbridges.com/photos/popsicle-bridges/new-bridge-design-553lb-695-efficiency/

    By Andrew -- June 2, 2011
  5. I made a bridge with 72 popsicle sticks that supported 1700 pounds. The load efficency was of 3807 Pounds.

    By Ed -- May 3, 2011

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