The American Society of Civil Engineers has been putting on an annual popsicle stick bridge competition for high schools in western Washington for the last 13 years. Last year, I entered with a 350 gram, 30 inch long bridge that carried 567 pounds under their hydraulic press. They score the bridges on efficiency (I won at that!) and aesthetics.
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
I just finished this bridge a few days ago after working on it on and off for 3 months. It’s a cable stayed bridge design made with standard round toothpicks and wood glue.
The bridge is 31 inches long and just under 20 inches tall. The main road truss is 2 inches by 2 inches, constructed of beams of laminated toothpicks.
Hi, I just wanted to share the excitement…by using ideas from your website (recommended by my son’s Cub Scout leader) my son Jackson and I were able to build a Popsicle bridge with approximately 125 sticks. It set a new record by holding 500 lbs. for about 15 seconds before breaking! Thanks for the great ideas…not bad for the first try
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”…
Hey guys it’s me again, First Timer. I came up with a good way to practice bridge building either before or for the next competition and/or just to keep your bridge building skills good, whether it be science fair or science olympiad. It’s building different bridge designs with K-NEX, Erector Sets, and/or LEGOs. Most of you probably own one or more of the following and it really helps practicing basic truss design