Spaghetti Bridge Project

Design, construct, and test a truss bridge using spaghetti

By Anahita Khodadadi

Published December 4, 2023

Students explore the geometric design parameters of a structural truss through bridge design. Each model covers a 30" span and test the load-bearing capacity of the model's using sandbags.

Students were asked to make lightweight bridges use only spaghetti noodles or lasagna gusset plates and glue. Bridges that earned high scores had great load-bearing capacity while having minimal weight.

This course covers the basic principles of structural systems, such as effects of loads, equilibrium, internal actions, stress, strain, and cross-sectional properties as well as the design of large-scale structural systems, including funicular systems, trusses, and frames. Students focus on their ability to demonstrate the basic principles of structural systems and the ability of the structures to withstand gravitational, seismic, and lateral forces, as well as the selection and application of the appropriate structural system.

Of the 72 University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning junior and graduate students in this course, Aaliyah Lightfoot and Janice Ng (team 8) earned the highest score.

ARC 453/553: Structures 2
Faculty: Anahita Khodadadi
Teaching assistants: Yash Dilipkumar Dave, Aarzoo Sood, Vaidehi Vagal