Once the trusses were done, we put in some bracing and voila! We have a 2 meter long wooden bridge! Below is my team and our bridge.
A few days before the competition there was some disputes over where the three points of loading would be. The original instructions we're unclear and interpreted differently between schools and groups. So they sent out a few emails in successive days trying to explain, however, in the process, explained it incorrectly. In the end, they decided to just do a one point load to make it fair to everyone. This is what the loading device looks like:
If you're interested and would like to know how it works, ask me in person one day, because I could spent the next 3 hours trying to explain it.
When we first finished the bridge, looking at it, I imagined it holding somewhere around 200 pounds at the most. I mean its a wooden bridge! When we got up to the loading deck for testing, I couldn't have been more surprised. While watching from the side, I heard a loud snap after a few minutes. I thought it was a member. It wasn't. The metal rod snapped inside of our bridge! They stopped the loading while everyone was chanting "break that bridge!" to add a 2nd metal rod and continued loading. It held 1710lbs! (776kg) and weighed only 5.6kg.
Scoring is done by dividing the load it carried by the weight^2.
We were well in the lead when we went and there were only 8 of 23 teams left. Until one of the last University of Sharjah teams went and carried 35 more kgs than our. We were bumped into 2nd place were we finished. Now bad for being open to the entire UAE. Definitely a great first experience for me. When I go back to Marshall, I'd like to see if we can incorporate this into either the curriculum or just have out own competition some day.