Machines - Mechanics


Codex Atlanticus f. 138 r.

Dimension: CM. 60 X 60 X 150

Description: This is a typical example of simplifying man's work: a series of screws, help a column to rise in a simple and safe way and place it upon its base.


Codex Atlanticus f. 808 v.

Dimension: CM. 60 X 60 X 190

Description: As a young man, Da Vinci had studied a wide number of devices used to lift weights. In Florence there were building sites everywhere and Brunelleschi himself had designed some cranes in order to build the dome of the Cathedral. As a consequence, Da Vinci also decided to design several cranes to lift heavy weights.


Codex Atlanticus f. 579 r.

Dimension: CM. 60 X 60 X 140

Description: One of Da Vinci’s most curious drawings portrays the mechanism of an automaton in medieval armour, which, besides being used for theatrical purposes, was also used during a royal reception. On that occasion, several automatons were placed in a line and thanks to a special controlling device raised their arms to greet the king.


Codex Atlanticus f.1083 v.

Dimension: CM. 60 X 60 X 170

Description: The exploitation of labour on animals, in this case oxen and horses, helps man not to tire himself using this windlass for weight-lifting. Despite the complexity of the design and model even this one is totally functioning, and all the rules of construction dictated by Leonardo are respected.


Codex Atlanticus f. 812 r.

Dimension: CM. 140 X 185 X 113

Description: Extremely famous drawing, which has been nicknamed “Da Vinci’s car”. It was most likely used for stage performances, it is equipped with three wheels and a steering column. For a long time, experts thought that its motion relied upon two leaf springs, while we now know that the device can move thanks to coiled springs placed under the wheels.


Codex Atlanticus f. 133 v.

Dimension: CM. 175 X 60 X 120

Description: Our craftsmen have worked with great wheel to make sure that this model would be the closest to the one drawn by Leonardo on the Atlantic code. This model, as all the other ones, is perfectly functioning.


Codex Atlanticus f. 34 r.

Dimension: CM. 60 X 60 X 180

Description: This drawing shows a hydraulic drill whose underlying mechanical concept is similar to that of today’s drills. The device was operated by two men who, according to the depth it must reach, would add poles connected to the perforating metal head.


Codex Madrid I f.22 r.

Dimension: CM. 60 X 60 X 160

Description: In order to lift and move building materials or any other weight, Leonardo Da Vinci decided to improve the mechanism based on a series of tongs. The rope’s traction triggers the grip, which becomes stronger as the height increases and is automatically released when the object touches the ground.


Codex Atlanticus f. 1049

Dimension: CM. 120 X 80 X 80

Description: This drawing displays the device for the transmission of motion to the axle of a cart. A crank turns the gearwheel that engages the lantern pinion linked to the axle of the cart and increases its speed. The motion is transmitted to one wheel only thus allowing the other one to move at a different speed when entering a turn.


Codex Atlanticus f. 1a

Dimension: CM. 60 X 145 X 132

Description: This instrument helps to calculate exact distances. Thanks to a system of cogwheels a small sphere falls at a precise distance.


Codex Atlanticus f. 105 bv

Dimension: CM. 60 X 60 X 140

Description: This machine is one of the many cranes Da Vinci studied while he was living in Florence. He tried to improve existing cranes especially those designed by Brunelleschi


Codex Atlanticus f. 24

Dimension: CM. 60 X 60 X 165

Description: It is possible to see the hammer beating on the file while it whithdraws, in a completely automatic way. A true example of industrial revolution, since all the files produced by this model are identical.


Manuscript I f. 24v. 25 r. - Manoscritto F f.80 r.

Dimension: CM. 60 X 60 X 117

Description: Due to his studies and drawings on fossils and on the composition and classification of rocks and mountains, Leonardo is considered the first geologist in history.


B.R. 228 (BNCF) f.107 v.

Dimension: CM. 60 X 60 X 140

Description: Since his youth, Leonardo had always been fascinated by the big cranes designed by Brunelleschi and used to build the Cathedral dome of Florence. Many cranes appear in the codes.


Codex Madrid I f. 43 r.

Dimension: CM. 60 X 60 X 140

Description: A rope is horizontally tied to the wheels of a winch and lifts the long pole from its base. The same wheels reduce friction, thus reducing the required effort.


Codex Atlanticus f. 34 r.

Dimension: CM. 60 X 60 X 120

Description: A simple box with a big glass lens fixed on one side and a candle inside: that is how Leonardo created a “beautiful and bright light”.


Codex Atlanticus f. 21 r.

Dimension: CM. 60 X 60 X 120

Description: The rising air moves a propeller engaging a shaft. A pulley at the end of the shaft causes the spit to turn. The rising air automatically generates movement; the speed of the spit depends on the size of the fire.


Codex Madrid I f.25 v.

Dimension: CM. 60 X 60 X 170

Description: A hydraulic horizontal wheel powers this instrument for drilling trunks to make pipes.


Codex Atlanticus foglio 394 v.

Dimension: CM. 60 X 60 X 130

Description: Leonardo solved the problem of the measurement of time at night by putting an appropriately graduated rod beside a lit candle.


Codex Royal Collection Windsor

Dimension: CM. 60 X 60 X 80

Description: With this imposing statue, which was to be made in bronze and had to be high almost 7 metres, Ludovico Sforza wanted to celebrate his father Francesco’s military successes as well as his own achievements.


Codex Atlanticus f. 709 r.

Dimension: CM. 100 X 100 X 100

Description: Among all other things, Leonardo was interested in geometry. This drawing represents an axonometry of three intersecting squares.


Codex Atlanticus f.50 r.

Dimension: CM. 100 X 80 X 150

Description: Leonardo was particularly skilled at realising theatrical machines rich in special effects. For this model he evidently took inspiration from Brunelleschi.


Codex Ashburnham I f. Cr.

Dimension: CM. 40 X 20 X 25

Description: This lyre represents a grotesque creature and is similar to the silver one reproducing a horse Leonardo gave to the Duke of Milan.