Leonardo da Vinci’s life-sized machines

It is well known that Leonardo put his great talent to work in the engineering field, designing machines of all types, some of which still remain a mystery to us.

In Da Vinci’s codices are thousands of studies, diagrams, sketches, and projects. On top of his original inventions, Leonardo also attempted to improve existing tools.

In the crypt it will be possible to observe and admire many models of Leonardo’s machines, both life-size and to scale.The machines are minute reproductions of the original projects by Leonardo da Vinci, created by the artisans of the ancient Florentine workshop Martelli and by Opera Laboratori.

Here are some of the machines that you will able to admire and touch.

Spring-driven Motor

Leonardo draws in great detail this complex system in the Codex Madrid, probably destined to regularize the movement of big clocks.

Cam Operated Hammer

Always aware of his machines’ application in the working world, Leonardo used this mechanism to let a hammer strike an anvil, facilitating, for example, metalworking. A handle was also present to decrease the strain of the person using it, facilitating a complex work.

Flapping Wing

In his sketches, by using the same ratio between the weight and the wingspan of a duck, Leonardo is able to calculate that the wing should be approximately 12 meters long and wide. Unfortunately, a single man cannot possibly manoeuvre such an imponent device. In all likelihood, the experiment never materialized.