2017 FAQ

Question: Can the student choose the orientation of the bridge, or should the student assume there are 4 loading places: 2 at 2 cm from center and 2 at 6 cm from center.

Answer: There are only two loading locations. They are not symmetrical. This is different from past years. Orientation of the bridge is unimportant this year. The load will be either 2 cm from one side of the center of the bridge or 6 cm from the other side of the center of the bridge. A bridge able to accept a load a both locations will be tested at the location chosen the day of the contest. Having the bridge oriented in one manner or 180 degrees from this orientation will not change the location used. If a student has four loading locations on their bridge then the method of determining the bridge's orientation will be the same as in previous years. This method is not made public and contains a random factor.

Question: Nowhere in this rule or any of the other rules is there a disqualification or disallowance of a piece of the bridge stretching, bending, or breaking below the support surface, as long as it still holds the load and doesn't deflect the load past 25. mm. Therefore there is nothing in these rules or any other rules which could specifically disqualify a bridge that started with edge supports and pieces that held the entirety of the bridge above the support surface such that the loading plane, height, and clearance rules were met, but when weight was applied, was designed to drop below the support surface and put pressure on the sides of the supports to support the bridge. If I did this, would my bridge be disqualified?

Answer: A partial failure or collapse of a bridge to engage the vertical surface just below the support surface is not permitted. Thus your bridge will be disqualified if this is done.

Last update: November 19, 2016
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For further information, contact: Prof. Carlo Segre -, Illinois Institute of Technology
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