Leonardo da Vinci's Ingenious Design for a Self-Supporting Bridge

Of the many structures Leonardo da Vinci designed, perhaps none made more ingenious use of materials than his practical design for an easy-to-assemble, self-supporting bridge. 

Here’s a father and son demonstrating its construction in their backyard, without using a single tool:

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As you can see they’ve used no fasteners, since the structure is designed to support itself. But in da Vinci’s original design, notches were meant to be cut into the timbers to add greater security to the structure.

The design is not limited to just the five crossmembers depicted above. Here’s one with nine crossmembers, erected as decoration in the German city of Freiburg.

And as an example of this design in practical use, here’s da Vinci’s design serving as the support structure for this footbridge in Morsø in northern Denmark.

You might be wondering how strong the design is. Well, here’s a version erected out of construction lumber in Stuttgart, Germany, with the city’s Mayor being driven across it:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvG7X_ZZ8ls&w=1280&h=720]

That was at an event last year celebrating traditional carpentry. (The folks you see wearing black hats and vests have donned traditional German builders’ garb.) Incredibly, the 10-meter-span structure was assembled by eight apprentices and two masters in about ten minutes! Here’s how they did it:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybsIi9h-ROI&w=1280&h=720]

Source: core77

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