Leonardo’s machines: handy technology

Leonardo da Vinci is considered one of the greatest genius of humankind. A unique figure worldwide, able to turn visionary dreams into reality. An artist and intellectual who, more than anyone else, has combined science and humanism. As a keen observer of nature, Leonardo da Vinci has passed down a relevant technological knowledge to posterity through his famous Code.

Leonardo’s machines are an important education tool that explain the main and complex concepts that rule our world; they are even more relevant especially in our present times, so deeply characterized by digital tools more and more powerful and yet more mysterious in their functioning. Touching the machines of Leonardo and observing the principles of physics in action is an incredible learning experience.

Wesen has recovered and restored the functionalities of two Leonardo’s machines dating from the fifteenth century: the mill and the water saw. In particular, we reshaped and renovated the missing wooden parts as well as calibrated the machine’s mechanical organs.

The machines, full-size models, are located in the Ecomuseo Freidano, in Settimo Torinese (Turin). Visitors can actively interact and easily learn by themselves the operating principles.

The mill of Leonardo was designed in order to place some grinder on one side of the channel and some other on the other side. Moved by water, the wheels started the transmission system by activating the mill. It was a very advanced mechanism at that time and still fascinating.

On the other hand, the water saw was designed to automate the process of wood chopping through a gear system capable of transmitting the movement from the saw blade to the truck with the trunks. In this case too we must pay our tribute to the genius of Leonardo and his visionary mind.