Roll tubes are simply paper or card tubes which are accurately rolled using a thick wooden dowel as a former (sometimes called a mandrel). The tubes are taped near the ends and in the middle to prevent unrolling and can be used to design a wide variety of amazing structures which are incredibly strong compared to their weight.
The roll tubes have holes punched in the ends using a hand held punch or normal ring binder paper punch and this allows them to be joined together by a variety of methods including paper fasteners, nuts and bolts and wooden dowels.
They are ideal for making bridge structures and showing how the strength of a structure depends greatly upon shape and design rather than simply the choice of a strong material.
Various Science Investigations can be carried out on individual roll tubes and on whole structures to determine their strength or strength to weight ratio.
All sorts of design and problem solving exercises can be conducted using roll tubes eg. designing a bridge using the minimum amount of materials to cross a river valley.
Cranes, water towers, playground rides, fairground rides, castle siege towers etc. can all be constructed using roll tubes and with the addition of other materials and components there are endless possibilities.