Leonardo da Vinci Catapult

Leonardo da Vinci Catapult

# 008976

Our Price: $19.25
Retail: $24.50
Save: 21.43% ($5.25)
In Stock.

Item #: 008976
Grades: 4-AD

Product Description:

10 x 16 x 5.5. Designed by the master inventor himself, this small-scale replica throws small objects (less than 1" diameter) up to 15 feet.

Publisher Description:

Leonardo made two drawings of catapults in the codex Atlanticus, dated somewhere in the 1480's. While gun powder had been invented well before this, he seemed to understand that it wasn't always reliable and that catapults still had a place in warfare. The da Vinci catapult took and interesting turn (as it were), since none were made like this before that have been documented. Da Vinci was often pitching to kings and local lords (to whom he was employed), new ideas to protect their castles and improve their effectiveness in battle.

He made two designs, a single arm and a double arm. Tension arms would have used a laminated wood of some kind, but the tension on them would have been huge.

On the single arm there was a long pole that inserted into the drum so the swing arm could be put into firing position. It used a ratchet system where as the arm was pushed into position, a ratchet would prevent it from firing. Once in position, the release mechanism was pulled.

The double arm catapult used a different winding mechanism. It essentially is a worm screw that would slowly wind a large wheel (improving leverage) that would move the swing arm into position. It would be engaged in the wheel, wound, then when in position, a release mechanism would be engaged to hold the tension.

The worm ear would be lowered so it was not engaged, and the release mechanism would be tripped and off goes the projectile! The tension must have been enormous, and it has never been discovered if either of these models were ever made or used in battle.

Category Description for Pathfinders Wooden Model Kits:

The main purpose of these all-natural, untreated wood kits is to demonstrate scientific principles in action. Heres how they work: each kit comes as a set of pre-cut wooden pieces, which are assembled according to illustrated black and white instructions. Once you finish putting everything together, the set becomes a fully-functional scientific or historical representation. The catapult, for example, stands at 8" tall, 5" wide, and can fling small objects over 15 feet. But its not just a glued-together wooden frame with a rubber band attached; these kits are put together almost precisely how the real thing was, using only authentic parts. Small wooden pegs (miniature versions of the huge pegs used in the real deal) connect crossbars, supports, and pieces of the frame just as nails would in modern-day building projects. A tiny rope strung through the middle and wound by torsion bars gives the catapult its power, allowing it to hurl miniature stand-ins such as fruit, marshmallows, or even tiny rocks in the exact same way several-hundred-pound projectiles were once thrown in medieval times.

The attention to detail and precise engineering of these kits is absolutely wonderful. While this level of complexity increases the time it takes to put together these kits (about 1 to 2 hours), it also drastically improves the functionality and realism. Kids can learn not only how modern and medieval inventions were put together, but they can also see the scientific principles in action that make them work. The creator of these kits even suggests combining the medieval siege weapons with math and physics lessons to learn about trajectories and graphing. The hydraulics-powered Robotic Arm is a great example of a scientific principle in action. Using three different syringes on a control panel of sorts, the arm can be used to move up and down, turn, and grab objects between two foam panels.

All kits are fully interactive. Catapults and trebuchets throw things, bridges can turn and lift using cranks and other wooden controls, and hydraulic machines can be controlled by liquid-filled syringes. These kits are also made to be supplemented with other toys; kids can use LEGO figures or other toys to man siege engines or operate bridge controls as a miniature train or other vehicle starts to cross. For more advanced builders and artists, all kits can be painted piece-by-piece to look even better.

Category Description for Physics Kits & Models - General:
Category Description for PHYSICS:
Primary Subject
Grade Start
Grade End
Brand Name
Pathfinders Design + Technology
0.95 (lbs.)
7.5" x 10.12" x 2.25"
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Browse 1 question Browse 1 question and 33 answers
Why did you choose this?
Rainbow Resource Center Store
Made one before
David B on Jun 5, 2022
I chose this item to use with older elementary age children during our VBS
Lawrence M on Apr 27, 2021
Made one before
David B on Jun 5, 2022
creative, fun physical game
Tam P on Dec 4, 2021
I chose this item to use with older elementary age children during our VBS
Lawrence M on Apr 27, 2021
homeschool history
Brenda B on Apr 16, 2021
it looks like a good toy for my four year old that he can build with a little help
lance p on Apr 8, 2021
Learning about Leonardo this spring.
Kimberly C on Apr 3, 2021
gift for kids
veronica h on Dec 8, 2020
Christmas gift for grandsons
Bill K on Dec 7, 2020
Gift for 10 year old grandson.
Barbara F on Nov 25, 2020
Looking for a fun and interactive activity for kids, where they can stay entertained after it is built for a little while
Natalie C on Jul 20, 2020
These kits are well built and can be used for multiple children. They are a great addition to any Renaissance or Middle Ages unit study.
Damenika M on Apr 26, 2020
this will hep my G/son creative skill
TAMARA A on Apr 4, 2020
Tina M on Jan 9, 2020
I love building things and I'm interested in cool contraptions.
Daniel M on Dec 23, 2018
A very smart girl asked me for something to build
daryl a on Dec 13, 2018
A gift for my grandson.
Alena S on Dec 10, 2018
Analytical Physics Lab
Robert K on Jul 30, 2018
We are using this in our summer STEM camp
Marilyn M on May 16, 2018
Previously ordered from another site and know it is a great gift...your price & service are attractive...
James R on Apr 13, 2018
school project
Astraea on Mar 27, 2018
perfect gift for my son.
stephen m on Feb 16, 2018
gift wish list
Stephanie F on Dec 19, 2017
My friend likes to build structures.
Trinie N on Dec 15, 2017
Lowest cost of item and shipping total.
Brad S. on Nov 27, 2017
Great talking piece and good for amusement in the workplace on a desk.
Samuel K on Nov 26, 2017
Great toy for my grandson.
Lawanna M on Nov 25, 2017
Great price on a highly rated product
Heidi B on Nov 25, 2017
my kids likes it
Chiu C on Nov 25, 2017
This catapult was mentioned as a suggestion in the "Oh, Snap!" game. Did a google search and was happy to see that you all sell it for cheaper than other places.
PM T on Sep 5, 2017
I wanted a fun, easy to build machine where I could flick cat food across the room and have my cats run and get it.
James D on Jul 8, 2017
Going to use for an activity for Renaissance Day at school.
Twila L on Apr 19, 2017
School Stem Challenge
Emily Lily S on Apr 5, 2017
This appears to be a working scientifically accurate model of a catapult. I think this will be very interesting for my nephew.
Sarah B on Dec 8, 2016
creative, fun physical game
Tam P on Dec 4, 2021
homeschool history
Brenda B on Apr 16, 2021
4.5 / 5.0
2 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Rated 4 out of 5
Bit delicate
There isn't any room for error with no extra pieces, and the instructions are a bit of 'match up to the picture' so we had a slight issue putting it together. It worked after a few trials to see which way the string should go and which way the wheel spokes should face. It worked for the project, so no complaints.
April 27, 2018
over 5 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Leonardo da Vinci Catapult
I gave these as gifts, I've heard back from one person, he said he liked it. Shipped in time for Xmas, thanks.
January 3, 2018
over 5 years ago

help desk software