Bridge Project

Our group had to build a paper bridge that would span 2 metres, without using any glue. So basically we were only allowed to use paper. We were also not supposed to exceed 30cm with each piece. Some people noted that we might have done it by using a little bit of A3 paper for the top weights, but it was almost the same as using 2 A4 stacks more, so I don't think it was a big deal.

The bridge held about 300 N. So pretty much 30 kilograms. Quite impressive considering it was only paper Our design was based on using poles of paper stuck together with small paper joints. To reinforce the structure and create depth we made corrugated paper triangles. Additionally we just stacked on the weight on both sides with stacks of A4 paper. With more weight, we might have been able to sustain more force, but we wanted to stay relatively efficient in our usage of paper. The group that had to use mdf and string etc could hold 540N before totally collapsing. The second most resistant was the impressive looking mdf and dowel group, which could hold 520 N. Out of 8 different groups the paper bridge was third most resistant.

Steve will be uploading his videos of all the bridges from this year on youtube. I shall give links to them when he has done so (if he does so - he did last year).

For reference here is the link for the paper bridge of 2010:

Our Paper Bridge - 2011:

This movie can also be found on youtube:

How to build corrugated paper triangles... it only takes 15 min to make and we had about 20 separate triangles interlinked.

Eight or so poles of paper stuck together using joints hold the triangles.

Additionally poles go on top to increase the resistance and depth of the bridge. It takes two to lift paper tubes...

Updated 17.03.2012:

Our group just received constructive criticism about our bridge design. As architecture students, we shouldn't have made the bridge strong by wasting blocks of paper to hold the structure up by the usage of sheer weight. I suppose we could have found a solution to create a strong bridge with less paper...

If you are making a bridge out of paper, I wish you all the best of luck. You may use our design, but it isn't very good at all: we weren't allowed to use anything except A4 paper. So much more can be done with glue. However, rolling paper and creating triangular shapes increases the strength of paper, so I would recommend doing that. Good luck!

(25.05.2012) - Bridge Project separating sheet on my 1st year Architecture Portfolio.