Tips for a spaghetti bridge

Updated November 21, 2016

Don't be surprised if there's a spaghetti bridge building contest at your local high school. It's an effective tool for teaching the principles of physics, engineering and even algebra. Yet, while spaghetti bridges can be surprisingly strong, even the sturdiest ones can collapse from a minor misjudgement. A few simple tips can keep your project a winning one.

Keep the design simple

The simpler the design, the easier it will be to build. According to Camosun's Civil Engineering Department, using triangle shapes is simple and effective. They claim the inverted (with the apex of the triangle pointing down) is the most stable. If you need to increase the size of your bridge, the easiest way to do it is to increase the size of your triangles, or the number of your triangles. And the best place to add more triangles is the centre of the bridge, where the structure is the most deep.

Hot glue melts

While a hot glue gun is an effective tool in constructing your bridge, remember that it can actually melt your spaghetti. Use the smallest amount of hot glue possible since if your spaghetti is cooked at the joints, it makes the bridge susceptible to breaking.

Cooked spaghetti

One technique is to boil the spaghetti for almost half an hour, then slowly dry it. As it dries, stretch the spaghetti out so it's long and really thin. When it's completely dry, the spaghetti should be more flexible, lighter weight, and especially effective when you need it for the bridge's tension points.

Different brand of spaghetti

Different brands of spaghetti can be stronger than others, so try several kinds. The Bangor Daily News says that the Delverde brand of perciatelli is especially strong.

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