A Detailed Description of West Point Bridge Designer
The bridge design contest is conducted in the United States keeping in mind the middle and high school students. The contest focuses on promoting math, science and technology education through this internet based nationwide contest.
The West Point Bridge Designer software helps in building the bridge in the contest. The software helps in introducing a realistic approach to engineering through the task of building a steel bridge with realistic specifications and criteria.
The West Point Bridge Design software is the official software used to enter the contest. The objective of the contest is to create a design with appropriate specifications which can pass simulated load test and must also be cost effective.
Even though using the software is easy yet it manages to provide a similar experience to that of practicing civil engineers who design real highway bridges. The look and feel of the software is, therefore, not compromised. A list of ways through which the software guides the users:
- The software provides indication by color coding the area of tension (blue) and compression (red) along with a 3D animation of the test.
- Graphical modification is allowed by the software to correct any inadequately designed area.
- The cost of the design can be minimized by making changes in the design member properties.
- The idea of the contest is to construct a bridge graphically. Along with it, provide details about the material and mechanical property of each member.
- After the complete construction of the bridge using the West Point Bridge Designer, the software will test to check if the bridge is strong and stable enough to carry a truck and allow it to smoothly cross.
- In case of a bridge collapse, the software provides opportunity to make changes in the structural component or even completely change the configuration of the bridge.
- Even after undergoing the test and receiving positive outcome one can continue to make changes in the structure to make it even more cost effective and useful.
The contest, therefore, provides a fun way to learn and improve designs. Also, it provides scholarship for virtual construction of a bridge.
System Requirement for the Software:
- WPBD 2016 for Windows - Requires Windows XP or newer.
- WPBD 2016 for Macintosh - Requires Mac OS X 10.7.3 (Lion) or later
Even though the software was formally known as the West Point Bridge Designer, it is now maintained by Engineering encounters.
The contest is now known as Engineering Encounters Bridge Design Contest.