After 500 years, MIT proved that the bridge design of Leonardo Da Vinci is extremely reasonable

Yet another proof of da Vinci's genius.

In 1502 AD, the Second Sultan Bayezid made a request, an open 'contract': he needed a huge bridge in the Golden Horn area, connecting Istanbul and his neighbor Galata. Leonardo da Vinci, then a famous artist and inventor, stood up to the challenge of a crate of lack of everything we considered necessary to build bridges: steel piles, asphalt, wooden planks or even some mortar to attach large building blocks.

But we forget that another 'grout' that may be associated with utopian ideas is the human brain. Moreover, the brain in this story belongs to the great scholar Leonardo da Vinci, an outstanding person in painting, sculpture, architecture, science, music, mathematics, literature, anatomy, geography, astronomy, botany and paleontology.

Picture 1 of After 500 years, MIT proved that the bridge design of Leonardo Da Vinci is extremely reasonable
Leonardo Da Vinci.

Da Vinci presented to the Sultan a very novel bridge sketch, accompanied by a description of the bridge's design and structure. Sadly, the Sultan was dissatisfied with da Vinci's design. It is not until 500 years later that we can test for ourselves whether the da Vinci bridge is really possible.

We are no longer surprised that one of the greatest minds in human history is right again.

To conduct a detailed study of this architectural block, student Karly Bast, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Research, collaborated with architecture professor John Ochsendorf, with the help of student Michelle Xie. They analyze the leftover documents, study the site topography, and then 3D-print the bridge in the design to see if it really stands.

The results of the study were announced during an international conference on architecture held in Barcelona. In mid-November, da Vinci's bridge will be appearing in a lecture at MIT's Draper Laboratory.

What is special about the bridge?

At the time of da Vinci, most stone bridges had stone arches to form the curve of the bridge connecting the two banks of the water. The bridge of da Vinci was different from all the bridges of that time, when it was tall enough for a sailboat to go underneath it. According to da Vinci's sketch, the bridge would be 280 meters long (he used a different unit of measurement, which would be 280 meters); If this project is approved, the design of Da Vinci will create the longest bridge, about 10 times the bridge of the time.

The bridge design also includes an unusually stable way to protect the bridge from maneuvers that generate forces with many unstable movements, such as a horse when it is not running in a straight line: da Vinci use two wide bridge legs as a place adjacent to the shore.

Picture 2 of After 500 years, MIT proved that the bridge design of Leonardo Da Vinci is extremely reasonable
At the time of da Vinci, most stone bridges had stone arches to form the curve of the bridge connecting the two banks of the water.

In the letter to the Sultan, da Vinci did not specify what materials he would use, but considering the materials that could be used at that time, he could only use stones because wood and bricks would not reach that far. . If the bridge was built in the same way as the ancient Romans, the bridge would rely on the gravity of the Earth to stand, without any mortar.

The only binder is probably the sublime intellect of Leonardo da Vinci.

To prove the bridge really stands, the team reduced the actual scale of the bridge, from a few thousand stone blocks to 126 blocks, at a scale of 1/500, the bridge model would only be 81cm long. Each block of 'stone' is 3D printed, each block takes 6 hours to complete.

' It's time-consuming, but 3D printing allows us to recreate this complex geometric structure, ' Ms. Bast said.

This is not the first time people intended to turn da Vinci's designs into real life, but most of these architectures use materials of modern times, so it is impossible to test the feasibility of old drawings. that. ' The stone slabs of the bridge are held together by pressure alone, ' Bast said.

They built a model bridge using the old stone bridge method, used a scaffolding to support large 'stone' slabs, then placed a keystone, the keystone, at the highest point of the whole arch. stone - then remove the entire scaffolding. The da Vinci bridge model has stood firm, adding another proof of da Vinci's genius mind.

Picture 3 of After 500 years, MIT proved that the bridge design of Leonardo Da Vinci is extremely reasonable
Karly Bast on the da Vinci bridge model.

' This is the power of geometry. A very good idea and meticulously calculated, 'said the team. Based on the viability of the bridge, it can be seen that Leonardo da Vinci has carefully studied this problem, to come up with an advanced bridge construction solution at that time.

We do not apply this design at the present time, because there are now more advanced ways of constructing bridges, using softer materials than stones. But the bridge model that the team from MIT has shown shows the height of the Renaissance architect's potential, even if they lack a great deal of construction materials and a deep understanding of physics, geometry.

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