Document Type

Undergraduate Project

Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2023

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Engineering Technology

Committee Chair

Charles Pringle, PE

Second Committee Member

Dr. John Choi

Third Committee Member

Mr. Chris Berkshire


When building a bridge, there is a lot of criteria that need to be met so it can be functional. These criteria for this balsa bridge competition are what the bridge is made out of and can only weigh so much, the bridge must hold a certain amount of weight and not fail due to it, must allow a “vehicle” to go through the bridge and under it. For this bridge, the only material that can be used is balsa wood and any glue. With this, the strength of the material can be found and multiple calculations can be used to see if the balsa wood can hold the minimum weight through the structure design. The design was made through green sheets and using MDSolids a simple truss system can hold the weight being applied in addition, the middle section of the bridge needed to reach 140mm. By doing the calculations for the lifting mechanism, it will show what force is needed to lift the bridge and how long does it do this action in. The balsa wood bridge was able to hold the 20kg of weight that it was required while only weighing 73g out of the 85g. with the structure, it had a gap of 40mm to allow the 32mm wide block through with ease. Finally, it was able to rise to the height of 140mm in the 60-second time frame and only took 55 seconds to do so.