# Which design is better for a popsicle stick bridge: left or right?

• agm1984
In summary, the conversation discusses the construction of a popsicle stick bridge and the two proposed designs for it. The first design involves leaning the trusses at 45 degrees and the second design involves vertical lower members. The concern is how the load will be applied and which design will be better for distributing the force. The conversation also mentions using the method of joints analysis and the use of images for reference. Ultimately, the question is which design is more legitimate and can hold more weight.
agm1984

## Homework Statement

i am building a popsicle stick bridge, and i basically have two trusses, which i am attaching together to make the bridge (each are one side of the bridge), and I am having trouble deciding which way to orient the two trusses.

if you look at the picture below, you can see that there are 2 proposed bridges in the picture, and all four trusses are built identically, so the only question is which design to go with?

the bridge will be tested by center loaded weight hanging off the bottom middle of the bridge.

which of these 2 designs would handle that weight better?

## Homework Equations

not much, maybe method of joints analysis but i would prefer to work theoretically based off the image alone.

## The Attempt at a Solution

bridge on the left:
it looks like it will mitigate torsion forces awesomely because the bridge itself turns into a maximally rigid gemetric shape. my biggest worry is how this will actually spread the forces compared to the bridge on the right which i understand quite well.

i googled triangle truss, and there are many images that show this sort of design so i wonder if its legitimate.

to reiterate, my biggest worry is "how will the downward (negative y direction) force being centrally loaded on the bridge affect this design compared to the bridge on the right? is there a clear winning choice?
if its a matter of preferance i think i will go with the bridge on the left because it looks radical and innovative.

bridge on the right:
standard warren truss with a few mods to aid in mitigating top beam compression forces. would require more popsicle sticks to mitigate torsion/side to side forces during the testing and subsequent crushing of the bridge.

i would prefer if you guys didnt just hint and steer me in the right direction, but rather explicitly state whether the bridge on the left or right would be superior and why.
its just a physics 12 level bridge and we arent actually analyzing the force vectors. its just a creative exercise in trusses and whatnot.

both bridges are going to be 110 popsicle sticks, and if i build the bridge on the right, it should hold around 200 lbs with a span of 50cm.
i have no idea how the bridge on the left would affect my 200 lb approximation. I am hoping it would be similar or better, rather than drastically worse for X,Y,Z reasons.

heres the image, the trusses are pretty much just laying against each other in the proposed positions:

anyone? which bridge looks more legit?

Never built one from pop sticks but...

I would think how the load will be applied to the bottom of the bridge. With the design on the right the lower members are vertical (eg the sticks are upright). With the design on the left the sticks lean over at 45 degrees. I suspect you might see these sticks bend sideways?

## 1. How much weight can a Popsicle stick bridge hold?

The weight that a Popsicle stick bridge can hold varies depending on its design and construction. Generally, a well-built bridge can hold between 50-100 pounds.

## 2. What is the best way to design a Popsicle stick bridge?

There are many different approaches to designing a Popsicle stick bridge, but some key factors to consider are the type and placement of supports, the distribution of weight, and the overall symmetry and strength of the structure. It is also important to use a strong adhesive and to evenly distribute the weight along the bridge.

## 3. How many Popsicle sticks are needed to build a Popsicle stick bridge?

The number of Popsicle sticks needed will depend on the size and design of the bridge, but on average, it can range from 200-500 sticks.

## 4. Can different types of glue be used for building a Popsicle stick bridge?

Yes, there are various types of glue that can be used for building a Popsicle stick bridge. However, it is important to choose a strong and fast-drying adhesive to ensure the stability and strength of the bridge.

## 5. What are some common mistakes to avoid when building a Popsicle stick bridge?

Some common mistakes include using too little or too much glue, not evenly distributing the weight, not allowing enough time for the glue to dry, and not following a well-thought-out design plan. It is also important to handle the Popsicle sticks carefully to avoid breaking them during construction.

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