22 October 2017

"The Mathematical Bridge" from Ponticulus Design

Ponticulus Design have launched a crowdfunded venture via Indiegogo to manufacture and supply models of Cambridge's famous Mathematical Bridge.

The models are designed to appeal to anyone with an interest in bridges, history, architecture and/or model-making, and to parents or teachers of children interested in science or engineering. The recommended age requirement is 14+ (mainly because there are 81 injection-moulded plastic pieces to be carefully assembled, and a craft knife and superglue are required).

I was lucky enough to get hold of one to try out. It's been many long years since I've assembled a model anything like this, but I was keen to give it a go!

It comes in a neat package with a set of instructions which I found easy enough to follow but which I think a child may need some assistance with. The Ponticulus website suggests up to 8 hours to assemble the model, but I took only about half that.

The finished model is attractive and seems fairly meticulous in how well it matches the real bridge.

The rea; Mathematical Bridge was designed by William Etheridge, adopting a radial and tangential timber network which had been used in the larger Walton Bridge, as well as in timber centering for stone arch bridges. It's not a straightforward bridge to understand, but it can perhaps be conceptualised as a set of overlapping king-post trusses arranged radially.

Ponticulus Design are offering a range of crowdfunding options, including generous discounts for early funders. Visit their Indiegogo site for full details.

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