Engineering Projects/Bridges/Howard Community College/spring2012/p3550jm

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Project documentation focuses on how the team organized itself to tackle the unknown. This is a creative process. The details learned should be captured in tutorials. Project documentation should focus on how the team organized itself to step out into the unknown. Failure is common. The single most effective way to increase engineering respect is to document failures in a creative way that stimulates, inspires and helps others continue the project. Projects are never done. There are always loose ends. There are always decisions that might have been made more clearly. There are always other alternatives that might have been considered. None of this stuff appears in a tutorial. It does appear in the team documentation.

Electronic Sections Expected

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Problem Statement

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Build a stand for the bridge

Team Members

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Initially we agreed to make a case for the bridge, and decided to design the bridge in 123d. We also started thinking of what would be the best weight system for the bridge. We researched on linear actuators, however they were not the best choice due to the fact that there were too expensive and their specifications did not match up to what we had in mind. Linear actuators are designed to move a certain distance and their force varies depending on the distance. Therefore we decided to work with some that was like a tension testing machine.


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Poster 3


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The Main idea of this project was to create a case or house for the bridge so that when the weight is applied to the bridge it does not go all over the place when it explodes. We first started on the design part of the case. There were some issues as to the size of the bridge, however we just decided on the design part first and not worried about the scale of the actual bridge case. We chose 123d is our primary designing software mainly because its free and easy to use. There were also tutorials for 123d in case we got stuck on something. The housing for the bridge was the first part of project, the second part involved the weight system that would create tension on the bottom of the bridge in order to break it. It would also tell us how much weight was applied to make the bridge break. The weight system would be comprised of either linear actuators or some other tension testing machine. One of the team members was responsible for gathering data on the bridge,the casing and the weight system. The other team member was in charge of researching and designing and case for the bridge in 123d and the last member was responsible for coming up with the best way for creating the weight system.

Decision List

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I. Case for the bridge
   1)  Design:
           - Create a design for the bridge
   2)  Software:
           - can use any 3D package
           - 123D
    3)  weight system:
             -linear actuators 
             -tension testing maching

Material List

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1. Software is free however the tension testing machine may range from $200 to $2000.
2. Linear actuators or tension testing machine will be required for this project.

Software List

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123D software from is used for designing the case for the bridge

10 Hours


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Tutorial on how to download 123D software

Next Steps

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Next step is to find the software that goes along with the tension testing machine and build the case for the bridge either using wood or metal.