Design and test a truss bridge using the engineering design process. Using only 7300mm of balsa wood, stick pins, wood glue, wax paper, graph paper, an Exacto knife, and tape, create the strongest bridge that will hold more weight than your competitors.
Create truss bridge that can hold the most weight based on the engineering design process and engineering principles. Working in accordance with COVID-19 safety standards, test the bridge to see its weight capacity and prove this design is strong and safe.
HOW I HELPED
SolidWorks Designer and Drafter
How do we use the design process to create something strong and safe?
A Pratt bridge with a reinforced roadway could be a good design due to its strength. Because our materials were limited, my team ran simulations and tests before implementing our ideas. We used the West Point Bridge Designer to model, test, and optimize our deisgn.
The simulator showed us that our original idea was not feasible. It was weak and unsafe, so we implemented different ideas to provide a better distribution of forces.
We used Solidworks to plan the exact size and layout of the balsa wood pieces. This ensured we were still within the bridge regulations before construction the bridge. We finished the building of the bridge, however, COVID-19 prevented us from returning to campus and physically testing our design.
Using the model already created in SolidWorks, we preformed stress tests inside this program. The bridge could easily hold 11.24 pounds if tested in person based on the simulation. A weight of 22.5 pounds shows higher but still manageable stresses.