Engineering Competition #2 – Tower Building

It’s that time of year again.  My co-worker, Michael, has once again concocted a mid-winter competition to challenge our minds and our sanity.  Last year, it was a Bridge Building contest.  You can read about the results of this competition here

The contest this year is Tower Building.   The tower needs to fit the form factor described in the picture below.  Our materials include:

  • 4  - tooth picks

  • 1 - 36” long piece of string

  • 1 - 36” long piece of 3/16” poplar dowel

  • 2 - 36” long piece of 1/8” poplar dowel

  • 1 - 3” long piece of 1” poplar dowel

  • Infinite amount of regular Elmers multi-purpose (white) or wood glue.

The competition is next Thursday, February 16th.  I’ve been accused of taking a waterfall approach to this competition as about all I’ve done so far is made a couple scale drawings of my tower.  I know I will suffer greatly due to the lack of prototyping and iteration, but time constraints have limited me.  It should be an interesting (and possibly long!) weekend.

I’ll keep you posted…


Comments (4)

  1. Mary says:

    This sounds like an interesting competition.  Can you reveal what kind of tower you are building?

  2. Hmm…., that’s not an easy question to answer!  Hopefully one that holds a lot of weigtht, but doesn’t weigh very much (the ‘winner’ has the highest ratio of weight held to the weight of the bridge).

    I completed a good chunk of my tower over the weekend, but I still have some work to do.  The design is nothing special – it will look a lot like the diagram above.  I usually strive for a classic design that is executed well.  My bridge from last year, Archie, was a classic design executed poorly!  We’ll see how my construction techniques fair this year.

    I’ll post some pictures later in the week.


  3. We spent two hours last night destroying what many of us spent many hours building for Engineering Competition…

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