3D Print a bridge painted by Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci is undoubtedly one of the most respected geniuses of the Renaissance. In fact, it is estimated to be one of the icons of the universal history of art. Despite this, he was also a genius in many fields. It is known that he was an engineer who gave life to great inventions.

Today, a 3D print revives one of his creations. It is a bridge that the artist drew in one of his many papers; papers that by the way, he made himself. In the sketch of this bridge, you can have a very solid and innovative architecture. This design was inspired in the year 1502.

It is known that Da Vinci was inspired by Sultan Bayezid II, who was in charge of the Ottoman Empire. This emperor wanted to establish a connection between Istanbul and the Galata region. But, the distance between the two territories, more exactly from its coasts, was hundreds of meters.

A 3D print supports the artist’s project

So Da Vinci dedicated himself to thinking of an idea that could fulfill Bayezid’s dream. This is how he managed to create a unique design that today has been optimized and presented in 3D printing. At the time of the famous artist of the Renaissance, this bridge represented a length of 280 meters.

The bridge itself achieved its stability and harmony through different blocks of stone. That was precisely the conclusion reached by MIT engineers. That is, the bridge would maintain its harmony and stability over the waters, due to the same coinage generated by the stone blocks.

The reason why it was decided to perform 3D printing is due to the reason for wanting to support this theory. This 3D printing version has a total of 125 blocks. Of course, the print has a dimension that is smaller than the actual bridge in a proportion of 500 times.

It would have been one of the longest bridges of the time

Today, the dimension of a 280-meter bridge is very common. There are bridges worldwide that can be more than a kilometer in length. But by the time of Da Vinci, those 280 meters was such a wide distance that if the project had come together, it would have become one of the longest bridges in the world.

Da Vinci then took the job of analyzing how sustainable the idea was. The use of the stone blocks should be distributed perfectly to prevent it from collapsing. On the other hand, he considered that a bridge with a semicircular arch was not coherent to give resistance to the structure.

In fact, Da Vinci was able to recognize that to achieve a bridge of this size, about ten pillars would be needed, distributed along the 280 meters that separated the coasts. What the famous Renaissance artist was looking for was to build a bridge with a single arch.

A bridge that facilitated the navigation of ships

Why? Because locating the bridge between two coasts and locating different pillars, it was prevented that the ships could not navigate through that territory. The 3D printing offered by MIT finished demonstrating how intelligent Da Vinci’s idea was and why it could be entirely viable.

Therefore, 3D printing was stable and rigid without any problems. However, it should be added that Da Vinci also considered the use of additional supports, located in the lateral area so that excessive movements did not collapse the bridge.

This last “optimization” of the bridge was due to the fact that Da Vinci hoped to guarantee the stability of the bridge, even in cases of earthquakes. A great solution that shows all the talent of the artist and his vocation to create unique inventions, designed taking into account a great diversity of factors.

What was the fate of that bridge at the time of Da Vinci?

Currently there are no exact data on the destination of this project. In fact, it is not known exactly if Emperor Bayezid hired the artist to execute the work and direct it. Or, if it was Da Vinci himself who had the initiative to study the viability of his idea after learning of the announcement made by the Ottoman emperor.

What historians estimate is that their idea ended up being rejected; otherwise, there would be great documentation on this project; especially considering that by then, Da Vinci was already quite recognized in various circles for his talent and his great vocation as an engineer.

With this 3D printing made by MIT, you can then see the genius that this man represented at the time. Many of his ideas were wild at the time, as was his initiative to manufacture a helicopter and a submarine. Perhaps this bridge would have sown a milestone in the history of architecture, which was another of the disciplines in which the Italian genius worked.

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