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Black swan made out of food cans takes shape

Monday, 10 September 2018

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An ECU team won the CANstruction competition with their one tonne black swan made out of food cans.

An ECU team won the CANstruction competition with their one tonne black swan made out of food cans.


A team of Edith Cowan University (ECU) students designed and built a one tonne black swan made entirely out of food cans to win the CANstruction Perth 2018 competition.

The competition challenges teams to construct giant structures from cans of food that are then donated to charity.

Limitations inspire innovation

Team leader and ECU Bachelor of Engineering student Minura Perera said the neck of the swan was the most challenging aspect of the design.

“Because the cans could not be damaged in any way so they could be donated, we couldn’t use any glue, bolts or welding. This made the neck of the swan very challenging as it is not supported by anything underneath,” he said.

“We solved this by designing a multi-level cantilever made out of steel wiring and MDF board.”

Swan stats

The Black Swan was constructed out of 2400 cans of soup, spaghetti, beans, tuna, fruit and vegetables.

It took the team six hours to construct and measured about 2m tall.

The CANstruction Perth 2018 competition was held by Engineers Australia as part of the Perth Science Festival.

ECU’s team comprised of students from the School of Business and Law the School of Engineering’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Society.

The food cans used in the construction were donated to FoodBank WA.

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