facebook twitter mail share

What is a good strategy for building a strong weight-withstanding card house?

Designing a strong house of cards illustrates many of the principles used in designing real structures, found in civil and mechanical engineering. Forces acting on a building need to be resisted by internal forces in the structure. To distribute the forces with playing cards, you can build a basic truss by setting a series of triangles across each layer of the house of cards. Triangles are extremely strong and distribute forces well. The joints of the trusses are important to ensure the stability of the structure; you can make stronger joints by bending or tearing the playing cards.

Here are two links that demonstrate techniques and give instructions for building a house of cards.

Worsley School House of Cards Demonstration: explains how the internal forces in the cards resist the external force of gravity.

Wikipedia Demonstration: a simple tutorial for building a card house.

The following link contains an image gallery of amazing structures made with cards.

Bryan Berg: Guinness Book Record holder for the World's Tallest House of Playing Cards.

Good luck and have fun!

Engineering Majors

More than 25 major specialties are recognized in the fields of engineering and engineering technology. Select a degree field from the list below to find out more:

 

Get Involved!

Find opportunities for pre- university, undergraduate, and graduate students all over the world.

 

more

 

Life of an Engineer

Find out what it takes to be a successful engineering student and professional engineer. A series of profiles will help you understand the challenges and rewards you might face.

more

 
Quickstart: we have resources for Students, Parents, Teachers, and Guidance Counselors