Introduction: Balsa Bridge

This is a bridge that I built in my drafting in design class, really  wish i would've taken more pictures along the way but I had no way to until my sister finally let me use her camera. The bridge is 10 inches from end to end and the bottom deck is 8 inches which will be seated in a 8 inch hole cut in a table. I'm testing the efficiency by adding weights to a basket connected to it friday and will hopefully post a video then. The bridge was originally designed in westpoint bridge designer 2012

1.What did you make?

I made a functional scale model of an arch bridge using thin pieces of balsa glued with balsa hobby glue.

2.How did you make it?

The first stage was to come up with a functional design using westpoint bridge designer 2012. I then printed out my scale design onto a grid which was then transferred over by hand onto a larger piece of paper in full scale(shown in picture 1). I then taped a piece of wax paper over my design paper and used it as a guide to bulid the bridge one side at a time, then those pieces were glued together creating my final product.

3.Where did you make it?

It was built in the drafting room of the high school I attend, over the course of a few weeks, since i only have the class every other day.

4.What did you learn?

This bridge really taught me a lot. First it taught me patience which every teenager needs more of, holding pieces together while letting them dry become very repetitive and tedious. It also taught me the basic use of programs that engineers use to test there product virtually and at a toned down scale before going ahead with a project.This is very important because if a structure is built without being tested and the materials used can't hand the weight and forces against them, the project will inevitably fail and large amounts of money can be at stake. This bridge has also taught me to really appreciate everything I see, because I now have a better understanding for the work that went into it. But the best thing it taught me is that this is the career path for me, I loved every second of building and look forward to build a scaled home next year in advanced drafting.

Make-to-Learn Youth Contest

Participated in the
Make-to-Learn Youth Contest