Students build working version of Leonardo da Vinci's self-supporting bridge

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Cool real-world illustration of Da Vinci’s design

Just wanted to say that the (awful) music on this video is NOT the new Yakety Sax and the real Yakety Sax may have improved it.


Reminds me of this:

I’m mot engineer enough to say if it’s the same comcept.

it seems like it would’ve been simpler/faster/cheaper to just do this with dowels, but i guess it’s much more impressive at this size.


keystoning is the way to go will carry trucks but matchstiking is the educationists
choice of economics

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Leonardo’s bridges are simply gorgeous. His unbuilt design for a monster single-arch bridge across the Golden Horn in Constantinople was long thought to be impossible because of the extremely flat arch. Fortunately in the mid-1980s, a Norwegian council was persuaded to implement the design - albeit scaled down - as a footbridge, and it is astounding:


We did this on a smaller scale on my first day at uni as a sort of primer… Yes, civil engineering.
From my point of view Leonardo Da Vinci was a brilliant engineer who also did some nice paintings in his spare time.

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It reminds me of this…

All mam arter, gaudy armours iggy tour…

It is based on a Chinese design, and there is a bigger one in China in stone that is much older. But this is the one I know.

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I’m trying to figure out how you’d erect this bridge across a river or gorge. During the assembly, it looks like you have to be able to lift the partially completed span from intermediate positions.

We’ve built these and constructed them as team-building exercises at several courses that I work at. Here’s some pics that include our small and ‘full-size’ versions from 2011:

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Although the version on the Quad will have some bolts and other reinforcements for safety purposes

So they don’t believe that it is self supporting after all and they have no confidence in their woodwork.

For a more recent engineer who at least could draw take a look at Brunel’s drawings of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, etc. Not an artist like Leonardo but seriously good draughtsmanship.

Build a tower and support the free end on ropes?

They have just enough confidence that drunken undergrads stumbling across the quad in the middle of the night will be prone to destructive mischief.

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