Any good engineer will tell you that scale models are a great way to test out grand ideas in a safer and cheaper environment. For some LEGO builders, though, scale models are just an excuse to flex your engineering muscles. This bridge by Clemens Schneider is a great little microscale build in its own right. It’s an attractive design with some nifty microscale vehicles, including what appears to be a police chase! What I am most impressed by however is the engineering behind it, which was meticulously planned out.
The valley and the gentle curve of the bridge are already accomplished by bending rows of bricks, exploiting the tolerances that are built in to LEGO bricks. But those flex tubes aren’t just for show! They actually work as a real cable-stayed bridge would. The schematic below shows some of Clemens’ thinking for this clever little build. The outer pair of cables are tensioned together with string (yes, it’s LEGO string), and the tension which can be adjusted to slightly alter the shape of the bridge. The green links have metal train axles in them (still LEGO!), the friction of which further helps to support the bridge. I’m seriously impressed by the thought that went into this!