The “straw bridge” competition…

The “straw bridge” competition…


During the first and second week of February 80 students of the “Ingenjörsorientering” course have taken part to the “Build a Bridge Competition” organized by the department of Mechanical Engineering.

The course is part of an orientation activity meant for prospective students to get a cross disciplinary knowledge about the different education provided at BTH.

The “Build a Bridge Competition” has been organized as a course activity to let the students “learn by doing” the issue and challenges, of working in a small scale product development projects as a group.

Six design teams have been asked to develop a prototype of a bridge with 70 cm span focusing on three design indications: 1) The bridge had to be as light as possible, 2) The bridge had to be as resistant as possible given that a weight was hanged in the middle of the bridge, 3) the bridge had to be as beautiful as possible. The only restriction to the design teams was the use of a limited amount of material consisting in not more than 400 straws, a box of paperclips and a roll of tape.

All groups presented interesting prototypes most based on triangular structures capable of carrying more weight. Congratulation goes to Group 6 (see picture) that won the competition by presenting the prototype that best traded-off the three design parameters performing good both in weight and resistance test and being voted as the “most beautiful” by the public. A special mention goes also to group 4 (see picture) for the innovative design capable of carrying more than 3.5 kg of weight using about 170 grams of material.

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