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How To Make A Mini da Vinci Catapult

It’s true that you can buy da Vinci Catapult kits online, but how cool would it be to build one from scratch? Andy Elliott shares how he made a mini da Vinci Catapult from a wooden folding ruler, screws, and some workshop odds and ends. A quick summary on Da Vinci:

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was a painter, architect, inventor, and student of all things scientific. His natural genius crossed so many disciplines that he epitomized the term “Renaissance man.” Today he remains best known for his art, including two paintings that remain among the world’s most famous and admired, Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. Art, da Vinci believed, was indisputably connected with science and nature.

Largely self-educated, he filled dozens of secret notebooks with inventions, observations and theories about pursuits from aeronautics to anatomy. But the rest of the world was just beginning to share knowledge in books made with moveable type, and the concepts expressed in his notebooks were often difficult to interpret. As a result, though he was lauded in his time as a great artist, his contemporaries often did not fully appreciate his genius—the combination of intellect and imagination that allowed him to create, at least on paper, such inventions as the bicycle, the helicopter and an airplane based on the physiology and flying capability of a bat.


da Vinci’s catapult was his design attempt at improving on previous versions, but there’s no record of it being made during his lifetime.

Next: A kick baler sends fresh hay bales flying on the farm, this epic catapulting locust in slow motion, and a few more weapons from history.

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