Document Type

Undergraduate Project

Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2021

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Mechanical Engineering Technology

Committee Chair

Charles Pringle

Second Committee Member

John Choi


The project requires the individual to design and construct a truss bridge made from balsa wood and wood glue to perform several objectives. The main objectives are to articulate the bridge by raising it, to conform to dimensional requirements, to allow a vehicle to travel along the road deck, and to hold a minimum load. The bridge must be able to articulate in two different ways. First, the articulation system can lift the road deck vertically while on top of the bridge. Second, raise the bridge with a pivot when the articulation system is placed at the specified end of the bridge. The bridge was able to raise the road deck to the required 280 mm height and allowed a sheet of paper to slide between the abutment and bridge using the pivot, holding it for ten seconds. The bridge without the articulation system weighed less than 85 grams when measured with a digital scale. The vehicle represented by a block pulled with a string can travel across the road deck without obstructions. The bridge was then tested for loading by adding weights to the inserted rod; however, the bridge couldn’t reach the 20 kg load before it began to fail.