Project 2, Team A2

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Synopsis of bridge scores

  • α squad score:

Surface Area =

Max Displacement =


  • Ω squad

Surface Area = 6.63 sq. inches

Max Displacement = 2.871E-7 inches

Score: 1.903473E-6

  • Current best team score: 1.903473E-6

Team members

Toby Heavenrich

Pierre Dyer

Tad Goff

Taylor Chen


Design Process

As groups we started out by brainstorming shapes with strength, drawing from our experiences as students and from what we have seen in architecture and bridge design in the real world. We ended up with a few possibilities. Our main options we decided to construct and test using solid works were bridges composed of beams forming triangular shapes. Of course we wanted to minimize high stress -and therefore high deflection- points so we decided to round all of our load-bearing corners to allow for maximum efficiency. We even tried a design with no un-bent beams (to be discussed later). Eventually we settled on three main designs and constructed each of them to determine which would be most efficient. We called our designs The "W" Bridge, The "X" Bridge, and The "U" Bridge:

Trial 1

The W Bridge


Our initial design was a basic "W" shape. We created beams by cutting away from the bridge template and formed a large W. This seemed to be a good approach as triangles are strong shapes and it supported the load bearing surface at three points (each edge and the middle). We tried to carry as much load as possible from the immediate load-bearing surface (the top) to the anchoring legs and to keep every beam supported by others. Finally we rounded the internal corners and tested our bridge.

Surface Area: 5.61 sq. in.

Max Deflection: 4.128E-7

Score: 2.315808E-6

Test Video

Trial 2

The X Bridge


We liked our initial concept of the W, but there must be a way to improve it and so we decided to lengthen our support beams and change the angle creating an X shape instead. This created less support in the middle of our load-bearing surface and gave us reason for concern. However it seemed to simplify the design and appear reasonably sturdy. Again we were sure to round our corners to decrease stress build up. We tested This bridge as well and found that it indeed scored better than the W Bridge!

Surface Area: 6.63 sq. in.

Max Deflection: 2.871E-7 in.

Score: 1.903473E-6

Test Video

Trial 3

The U Bridge


After the successful testing of our "X" bridge we proposed that if we could round out or design it may be even stronger. Thinking this test would prove to be the ultimate we again set out from our previous design, this time to make a bridge with a support structure of two intersecting "U's" (one upside down and one right side up). After creating a similar bridge but with intersecting arcs instead of beams we once again rounded off all load-bearing corners and appraised the design. Aesthetically it was new and appealing. Unfortunately it tested to be poorer than our previous model (The "X" Bridge) and slightly poorer even than the first model (The "W" Bridge).

Surface Area: 6.92

Max Deflection: 3.598E-7 in.

Score: 2.489816E-6

Test Video

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