The Trials Of Making A Toothpick Bridge

Recently I completed the engineering module, the one with the bridge. This was my first engineering module of the year because, so far I had only been working with the media tech modules. I thought that the engineering module would be like the media tech modules. I was wrong, namely in the sense that one involves intense use of hands, and the other doesn’t. So it was a change of pace.
My group had a lot of trouble trying to figure out what exactly we wanted the bridge to look like and looking online did not really help with the ideas. But eventually we came up with our first idea.

Next came the trouble of building the bridge, there were setbacks from the start, beginning but ending with the fact that there was no more wax paper to lay the drying objects on. Our first try got thrown away, much to our dissapointment. So we had to start over and hope that we finished in time. As it turns out we didn’t, someone had to take it home to finish. I volunteered to take it home and finish, only when I got home, the bottom part of the bridge had not set properly, so when I tried to lift it off of the foil it broke into several pieces.

So I came up with a new technical drawing for the bridge, this design was simpler and easier to make, but also most likely more sturdy. The design looked like this:


Unfortunately, easier did not mean that the glue dried any faster. So to problem solve, my dad helped me make a glue drying wind tunnel, that made use of foil that the gluey toothpicks had been resting on, and a hair dryer. We made the foil into a tunnel and squished the end of the foil around the hairdryer end, turned it on high and let it sit for 30 minutes when I came back the glue was dry and I was able to put the design together.

The finished product looked like this:


It may not be the most walkable bridge but it held 4000 grams of weight and barely bent so, I would call that a win.

~Almina Orbach ヾ(@⌒ー⌒@)ノ

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