Building popsicle stick bridges is one of my favorite activities to do in my spare time. I have built many popsicle bridges over the years, and love coming up with new designs. A huge focus of my bridges is designing blueprints that are easy to build and structurally sound at the same time. You can purchase many of my plans and blueprints in my store.
Here is the story of the Prairie Popsicle Stick Bridge told in video format. As far as I know, this is the longest working popsicle stick bridge that a person can walk across. If you know of a longer bridge that does the same, please let me know. The largest popsicle bridge was built back in 2008 in my dorm room at Prairie Bible College. For many nights I slept on the floor, as I was using my bed space as a worktable to glue the bridge together.
This bridge is supporting 191lbs of weight. It didn’t break, that was all the weight we could fit in the trash can. I believe this is close to the maximum load it could hold because the platform the jig is resting on was significantly bowed. The rest of the structure was rock solid. The construction of the bridge is popsicle sticks
This is a video I found on YouTube of an excellent bridge built for the Troitsky Bridge Building Competition. The only materials allowed for this competition are popsicle sticks, toothpicks, dental floss, and white glue. This is a very impressive bridge. It weighed 1.17kg and held 805kg. That gives it an efficiency score of 688
I have always wanted to build a model suspension bridge, and finally I have finished one. This is a popsicle stick suspension bridge. I created it from scratch, coming up with the design on my own. After testing it to failure I learned quite a bit about how suspension bridges react to loads. This model suspension bridge uses popsicle sticks as the main building material. The decking is cardboard, and the “cables” are 550 parachute cord (military surplus)
We run a comp here at Albury High in Australia for our Yr 12 Engineering Studies students involving max. 50 popsicle sticks, PVA wood glue and 2m of extra strong thread. Structures have to span 400mm and are centrally loaded. Here’s a photo of our 2010 winner which weighed in at 69 grams and held 58kgs giving an efficiency using the formula on your website if i used it correctly of around 12000!
These are some pictures of a bridge I built mainly out of boredom, but also since I have an interest in engineering. It’s a large cantilever bridge, meaning it has two arms that extend beyond their piers that hold up a center suspended span. It’s 10′ 2″ long and as of right now is hanging across my bedroom ceiling
Nic’s design held a weight of 224kg and had a final efficiency of 1020. It did not shear or snap at any member, but bowed in the second third of member C-E. This member did have angled bracing to stop bowing and this brace did not snap it was only the glue joins in this brace that failed. The truss ballooned out at the point when 2.2kN of force was applied. It was at this point that the test was stopped
This is a very nicely built popsicle stick bridge. If you want to build a strong popsicle stick bridge, than I would suggest that try something like this. Because all the popsicle sticks are glue together, this bridge will have amazing lateral support. I used this idea on a lesser scale on my Prairie Popsicle Stick Bridge.