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Leonardo Da Vinci and water jet cutting

Born in 1452, Leonardo Da Vinci was the pre-eminent thinker of his time. His inventions are legendary, his artwork astonishing.

Much of the modern world is thanks to his foresight, indeed he worked out concepts centuries before they would ever go into production.

It is therefore little surprise to learn that he was one of the first to realise just how transformative water could be, how its power contained almost limitless possibilities.

In fact, the only surprise is that he didn;t invent the water jet cutter – at least as far as we can tell. An invention that could utilise the power of water, mixed with an abrasive substance to create a superb cutting force seems precisely the sort of insight he would have made. Probably in his sleep.

But, Da Vinci did see the power of water for powering machinery. He could understand the relationship between flow speed and pressure and how these concepts also carried across to air, with concepts such as lift on airplane wings.

Even his artwork tends to portray water. The Mona Lisa you say – surely that doesn’t? Well, there is a view that it has the Trebbia River in the background.

What seems certain is that he would not be surprised to see water jet cutting used now, though he many look at the modern world and ponder what he would see as a slow pace of change! I thought you’d have all this done by the 17th century, perhaps what he would mutter. This while not getting sidetracked by TikTok and Insta (did he have plans for those too?)

The reason you could easily imagine an old plan being uncovered, which shows Leonardo actually thought up a working water jet cutting machine, is that it seems a technology entirely in keeping with him.

It utilises the best of nature to make the most of limitless natural energy. Rather than being an over-engineered solution, it harnesses the awesome power the earth already contains. Water jet cutting might seem more simple than laser and yet it is boundlessly more powerful, efficient and accurate.

Leonardo fully knew the power of water and how it would be crucial. He’d have adored water jet cutting – if only because he’d have had a great time cutting parts for his latest concept.

Interested in learning more about Leonardo Da Vinci’s fascination with the power of water – this video is perfect for you.

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