7♥ – Make Leonardo da Vinci’s bridge

This challenge is really taking its’ toll. Who would’ve guessed that it would be hard to make something new every week for a whole year? Well, I kinda expected it but went into it anyway. It’s not even that I’m missing ideas, but the ideas I have are mostly a bit complex or require specific materials and I simply don’t have the time to prepare for them and make them in a week. Considering what I’ve just written it is not a surprise that even though I have about 30 unused ideas on my list, for this week I googled “easy science projects”. I don’t know why, but I was inspired to make a potato battery or something like that.

While I was looking at a list on one of the results I’ve seen an idea about experimenting with parachutes and I remembered making parachutes for my toys when I was a kid and letting them fall from the top of the stairs. The parachutes weren’t great, but it was still fun to play around with. This also started the flood of memories of the things I’ve made when I was a kid. There were stuff for school, like a small model of my house made out of plywood, stuff I made just because like miniature plywood shelves I made for kinder surprise toys or a shelf with a drawer I made for my wallet and documents. I also made some practical things. Once, when I was learning how to juggle, I wanted to film myself from a bird’s eye perspective, so I made a holder for a camera made out of cardboard and taped it to a ceiling. All of this just reinforces my belief that I am “born to be” a maker. (whatever that means) Recently I wrote for my company’s blog that I always wished I could call myself an artist, but I am quite satisfied to be a maker instead.

Anyway, on this list, I’ve seen an idea for Leonardo da Vinci’s self-supporting bridge and it immediately caught my eye. It is just the sort of thing that young me would’ve made for fun. I am also a fan of da Vinci’s engineering. He was incredibly far ahead of his time. His bridge had notches in the logs on the connection points for better stability, but for my purpose, friction will do the job just fine. I used some firewood pieces just because I’ve seen them and it seemed like good material for this.

Weight test. Structurally this bridge is very stable, but some of the sticks I’ve used are quite thin so it can’t actually bear much weight. A bunch of books on it still looks quite impressive.

This has been a nice throwback to my childhood and the fun times I had making stuff like this. I can’t really explain why I like making structures like this, I only know that I enjoy it, so I hope I won’t forget that fact and that I will continue making them.

Boring stuff

For the making of this bridge, you can use a lot of materials. Anything that looks like a stick will do just fine. The more uniform your sticks are, the better. Since mine are just some chopped firewood I found laying around, they weren’t the best and the bridge ended up leaning to one side. I tried to pair them so the similar ones go together and that gave me a good enough result. Here is a diagram of the steps for the making I found on this website.

But, it is maybe easier to see what is going on in this video. For a big version like the one in the video, you definitely need two people working on it. But you can make a small model on your own.

The fun thing about this bridge is that you just repeat the same steps for each section, so you can make it as big as you want. Just add more sections if you need.


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