Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s self-supporting bridge, architect Diego Poblete has developed a structure that can be assembled in less than 15 minutes and, according to his study, can support up to 500 kilograms. Focusing on the issue of connectivity in rural towns, Poblete developed a wooden system that is assembled without using a single screw, optimizing the use of the resource and facilitating easy construction:
With this we can facilitate the journey of children to school in rural areas, in areas where paths are interrupted by rivers or streams. Also, once the structure has reached its useful life, the parts can be easily replaced by new ones, while the wood, being a natural material, can be reused or recycled. In this way, this pedestrian bridge is also an environmentally friendly solution.
The project was born from Poblete’s thesis project as a pedestrian walkway and is based on a modular design that could be repeated to cover larger stretches. Its main advantage is the fact that it uses no nails or screws, using digitally-manufactured traditional carpentry joints.
Text description provided by the architects. The Department of Architecture of the Federico Santa María Technical University offers 6 types of degrees. Research + Development (I+D) is one of the areas of specialization within the Department of Architecture.
In Wood Week 2017, we present the Research + Development (I+D) thesis work of Diego Poblete, within the specialist area of computation, which was completed in January 2017.
The design is a prototype pedestrian walkway 4 meters long, without intermediate supports and without fittings, entirely machined in wood by a KUKA KR125/2 industrial robot.
The prototype, manufactured by Diego Poblete and Professor Francisco Quitral (Architect) at the Integrated Center for Manufacturing and Automation (CIMA) of our University, is inspired by a self-supporting bridge whose invention is attributed to Leonardo da Vinci.
The principle of structural reciprocity on which the original design is based was complemented by the design and machining of trapezoidal dovetail joints, to avoid displacement of the structural members. The prototype corresponds to one of multiple possible instances of a parametric model that automatically associates its geometry and the machining paths necessary for its manufacture in wood with an industrial robot.
The bridge model applies the fundamentals of Variational Design in the production stage, bridging the gap between design and production.