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Building a Popsicle Bridge

Constructing popsicle stick bridges is one of my favorite pursuits to do in my free time . In fact, I love it so much that I have spent numerous hours making new designs for additional bridges  . A large focus of my bridges is developing blueprints that are easy to construct and structurally sound at the same time .

Design the Bridge

To start building a popsicle bridge, first you need to come up with a design . Sometimes aspects of the design are set for you if you are building a bridge for a school project or a competition. Often the length of the bridge, as well as how many popsicle sticks you can use are defined by the rules you have been given. Other things, however, are up to you.

If you are just beginning making model bridges, I would recommend you use one of the three most widespread truss designs . These are the Howe Truss, the Pratt Truss, and Warren Truss. Each of these are very strong designs . Once you have picked out a design, then you can draw out your design to life size on paper, you even draw it out on the computer. This enables you to focus on building the bridge.

Build the Bridge

Now you are ready to construct your popsicle stick bridge . When you are choosing out popsicle sticks to use, be careful. Some popsicle sticks just are not worth using.  . Choosing a glue to use is also essential . Generally what I do is build each side of the bridge individually and then join them together . When you are joining the sides, be certain to make the bridge completely vertical. If the bridge is leaning, it will fall over sideways much more easily  . I always incorporatelateral bracing (which is X’s or zig-zags between the sides of the bridge to make my bridges stronger.

Once you have finished building your popsicle bridge, you need to wait until the glue has completely cured before you do anything with the bridge  . Sometimes you will want to test the bridge immediately, but your bridge will not hold as much weight if you test it before the glue has cured. Be sure to take pictures of your popsicle bridge and maybe even a movie of it being tested.

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