Pasta bridge. Designes? Tips?

  1. #1
    TJDFett's Avatar
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    Pasta bridge. Designes? Tips?

    Hey guys. I was given an assignment at school today to make a bridge using nothing but pasta and glue. It needs to be 20 inches long at least and will be tested to support anywhere from 1/2 to 11 bricks. The only rules are to only use pasta and glue, and we can't use ramen noodle bricks. So, any architects on the boards? I know that I should incorporate a lot of triangles to distribute weight. But what glue should I use? I plan on using fettuccine and lasagna any maybe linguine for the pasta. maybe some macaroni too. Any suggestions?

  2. #2

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    Re: Pasta bridge. Designes? Tips?

    I would suggest pasting spegetti together to form a tube, and useing that as the basic building block. a triangle is the most stable shape, but a tube is the best for compresion. It will also alow for a little bit of tork. hollow of course, but yeah that should be your main supports if nothing else.

    any glue should work, i wonder if you can use hot glue, and if that would work?

    *edit also think about a arch, if you were to build an arch, the piece at the top is the "keystone", it couses all of the other pieces to remain in place, and distributes the weight evenly, that would be a good way to design it.
    Last edited by wolfshui; Feb 3, 2010 at 12:24 AM.

  3. #3
    TJDFett's Avatar
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    Re: Pasta bridge. Designes? Tips?

    So, by arc do you mean arc up so the center is the highest point? Also, yes we're allowed to use hot glue. And how would i get a nice looking hollow tube and how big should it be? Thanks for the input.

  4. #4
    theretroclarinet's Avatar
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    Re: Pasta bridge. Designes? Tips?

    How much pasta are you allowed to use?

  5. #5
    dung0beetle's Avatar
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    Re: Pasta bridge. Designes? Tips?

    The strongest shape is not a triangle, but a circle. Cylinder's and hollow tubes are very strong, so keep that in mind while designing your structure.
    Here's a couple of good designs.

    This one is a good representation of a lightweight structure with great strength.

    This one is basically a hollow brick. If there are no rules about the amount of pasta, or weight of the structure, the brick is a good, simple one to go with.
    You also need to understand that the glue will be like concrete, and the pasta will be like rebar, so paint the glue on after it is constructed, and you will add a lot more strength to the structure. You can let the pasta sit in the glue and absorb some of the moisture as well, this will make the pasta more flexible once it dries again.
    Last edited by dung0beetle; Feb 3, 2010 at 12:10 PM.

  6. #6
    TJDFett's Avatar
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    Re: Pasta bridge. Designes? Tips?

    Thanks for the tips. There is no limit to how much pasta we can use, btw. I'm thinking I'll use a lot of triangles, hollow cylenders, lasagna for the bed, and make the center the highest point. I have until the sixteenth to complete this, so after I draw up some blue prints and see what you guys think, I'll post production pics. Any more tips?

  7. #7
    Nau'ur Baatir's Avatar
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    Re: Pasta bridge. Designes? Tips?

    Yeah. I'd go with Lasagna for the flat surface, and as far as the support structure, I'd rely less on spaghetti/fett(hah!)ucinni than I would penne. Short, squat tubes, relatively strong for their size.

  8. #8
    TJDFett's Avatar
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    Re: Pasta bridge. Designes? Tips?

    you think I should use penne?

  9. #9

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    Re: Pasta bridge. Designes? Tips?

    A penne for your thought......
    sorry,
    Mike

  10. #10
    High Speed Low Drag Fett 4 Real's Avatar
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    Re: Pasta bridge. Designes? Tips?

    i bet if you took Ziti tubes and put them together lengthwise in between the lasagna they would work like corrugated cardboard displacing weight

  11. #11
    dung0beetle's Avatar
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    Re: Pasta bridge. Designes? Tips?

    Step 1: Soak pasta overnight in mixture of white glue and water, and cover.
    Step 2: When pasta has dissolved into a gooey blob, drain excess water/glue and pour into a bridge mold.
    Step 3: Allow mold to set.
    Step 4: Release the pasta bridge from the mold.
    Step 5: World Domination!

  12. #12
    TJDFett's Avatar
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    Re: Pasta bridge. Designes? Tips?

    I'm afraid I don't have a bridge mold on hand XD

  13. #13
    Nau'ur Baatir's Avatar
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    Re: Pasta bridge. Designes? Tips?

    *chuckles* Yeah. Pene might work. If you can cut the angled edges off with a dremel or similar tool, so that you have straight cylinders, you could do a column of them. One in the center, and then glue other pieces around until you have the center piece surrounded. Then just stack those slightly larger cylinders on top of each other and glue together. That would act as a decent support column, I'd think.

  14. #14
    TJDFett's Avatar
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    Re: Pasta bridge. Designes? Tips?

    I'm thinking of using several spagetti cylenders with maybe a 3 to 4 inch diameter running along the entire length of the bridge, then have two very thick walls of pene with several triangular support beams running along the insde and outside of the walls like the kind pictured earlier in this thread, then i'll have a floor made of lasagna. And I guess I'll paint the whole thing with hearty coats of glue. However, since I'm supposed to use cylenders for their great compression, would it be a bad idea to glue something to the sides of them (by that I mean those thick walls I mentioned)? Would locking them in place like that defeat their prpose of good compression?

  15. #15
    Nau'ur Baatir's Avatar
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    Re: Pasta bridge. Designes? Tips?

    Just outta curiosity, what kind of span are you working with? Point to point, like a suspension bridge, or is it just over rough terrain?

    If you just need a flat surface to make it over rough terrain, I'd suggest something like the first design below. Red is lasagne, blue is pene, and green is linguini. Nice thick lines, so it's wider than linguini or fettucini. In between the two flat portions, you could layer two or three sliced pieces together and have a nice strong support

    If you need a suspension bridge, it's still mostly the same. Nice thick boxes of lasagna, reenforced with linguini as your columns. Layer several pieces of linguini together and have them form your top wire, and then some small spaghetti columns as your support wires.

    Maybe. I could just be talking through my hat here...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bridges-jpg  

  16. #16
    TJDFett's Avatar
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    Re: Pasta bridge. Designes? Tips?

    The design can really be anything. The sky is the limit. So, I don't need to build it under any classification like "suspension". The only specifications it needs to meet are over 20 inches and only use glue and pasta. What do you think about my idea I mentioned? and thanks for the diagrams!

  17. #17
    TJDFett's Avatar
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    Re: Pasta bridge. Designes? Tips?

    Okay guys. Pasta bridge day was yesterday. It held eight bricks! I made two layers of lasagna held together with hot glue and layered the two strips of lasagna with manicotti. I'm really glad with the way everything turned out, and I thank you all for the help!

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