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Paper tower

  1. Sep 18, 2006 #1
    I've spent about 6 horus this weekend trying to construct to build a paper tower that will support thick textbook 14 inches off the ground. the requirement is that it weigh less than 15 g. you can use tape and paper and that's it. Cylinders cannot exceed 5 cm in diameter. Tried making a bunch of tiny paper cylinders, 9 in all, taping three together and thus having three larger cylinders composed of 3 smaller ones. Couldn't hold the textbook, failed and totally colapsed. Any ideas?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 18, 2006 #2
    What about you make, say, 40 cylinders, each with a height of 5 inches. You take 20 of them and arrange them standing in a kind of hexagonal grid, like:

    .O O O
    O O O O
    .O O O

    And then you take another 10 and stack them on top such that each cylinder on the new layer sits upon 3 cylinders beneath it, the second layer might look like:

    O O O
    O O O

    And the third layer you take 5 or whatever cylinders, and stack them on the previous layer such that each cylinder sits upon 3 below it.

    All the quantities are probably off, but the structure or concept I feel has high potential. :)
  4. Sep 18, 2006 #3


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    Gold Member

    This has arisen, in various guises, several times before. Try doing a forum search to check the other threads. I have a preference for triangular girders myself.
  5. Sep 18, 2006 #4
    I did something similar in my Physics class. We were given 20 pieces of 8.5 x 11 in computer paper and told to construct a tower that could support a brick.

    We made 3 triangular supports and just filled them in with tightly packed cylinders. Supported it fine.
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