Make a Suspension Bridge

Students learn about tension, compression, torsion and shear by making a suspension bridge model - available to subscribers of The PrintLab Classroom

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Project Overview

In this hands-on project, students will learn about tension, compression, torsion and shear by making a suspension bridge model. Working in teams and guided by a workbook, students will be provided with an overview of suspension bridges before being challenged to design various components in Tinkercad or Fusion 360 software. Once 3D printed, the suspension bridge model is assembled and experiments take place to analyse the forces that act upon it.

Curriculum Details

The lesson can be incorporated into the study of maths, physics, design technology and computing. The material can be adapted for ages 10-16. The curriculum is aligned to NGSS, CCSS and UK National Curriculum standards. A comprehensive list of standards met is included in the lesson platform.

Included Resources:

  • Project explainer video (hosted on PrintLab's student portal)

  • Design workbooks (PDF)

        • Video design tutorials in Tinkercad and Fusion 360 (hosted on PrintLab's student portal)

        • Example suspension bridge model (STL)

              Self-Paced Learning Option

              PrintLab's student portal is home to the online learning resources required for each of PrintLab’s lesson plans (CAD tutorial videos, explainer videos etc), but it is also structured in such a way that gives users the option to work through each project online in a self-paced manner without a teacher/instructor. The perfect solution for distance learning, 3D printing clubs, passion projects or self-paced learning at libraries and makerspaces.

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