PT1.1 Engineering Goals


Problem to be Addressed
To design and make a model motor bridge which displays high structural efficiency.


Key Skills/Knowledge

  • Engineering
  1. Understand components of Engineering Design Process (EDP)
  2. Techniques for useful brainstorming
  3. Use of decision matrices to define criteria
  4. Optimisation
  5. Organised building, testing and modification based on physics principles
  • Physics
  1. Basics of force transfer through the bridge in equilibrium
  2. Connection of bridge strength to balanced of forces in each member
  3. Apply concepts of efficiency
  4. Understand the concepts of Tension and Compression

Engineering Goals


  1. To build a bridge that is able to support at least 10kilograms of weight
  2. To build a bridge of a unique and as original as possible
  3. To fully utilise the materials give to us
  4. To minimise the time taken for us to build the bridge
  5. To try and make our bridge as light as possible and to be able to support the same amount of weight so as to increase its efficiency
  6. To be able to simulate a real-life bridge using a model
  7. For our bridge to meet the requirements
  8. For our bridge to be successful in the testing phase


Resources / Materials
500 grams of ice-cream sticks and 1 bottle of glue is provided


Specific Requirements
  1. The model bridge may be constructed from standard sized ice-cream sticks only. No other material is allowed. the dimensions of the standard sized ice-cream sticks are estimated as follow:
Length: 113mm Width:10mm Thickness: 2mm
  1. The ice-cream sticks may be cut or joined in any fashion. Joining may be done with any commonly available adhesive / glue only. No other material, i.e. string, tape, wire, nails etc, is allowed.
  2. The bridge may be stained, painted or coated in any fashion.
  3. The bridge must have a length between 550 mm and 650 mm, a maximum width of 120mm, a maximum height of 200 mm and a maximum weight of 500g. There will be penalty for non- compliance (see Table 5).
  4. The load will be applied downward using a loading bar placed across the centre of the deck and masses will be supported on a suspended vertical loading rod. (See Figure 1)
  5. To simulate a real-life bridge, the model bridge must have a deck for motor vehicles to travel on.
  6. The bridge must be constructed to allow for the loading bar to be placed across the centre of the deck.
  7. Loading will stop once bridge failure occurs. Bridge failure is defined as the inability of the bridge to carry additional load with any member of the bridge breaking, or total collapse whichever occurs first.
  8. The structural efficiency, E, of the bridge will then be calculated.
E = Load supported in grams / Mass of bridge in grams


  1. All construction and material requirements will be checked prior to testing by the judges. Bridges that fail to meet these specifications will be disqualified.

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