Wingardium Leviosa – Tensegrity in action…

One of the most remembered sentences from the movies must be Hermione’s “It is Levi-O-sa, not Levio-sar” in Flitwicks Charms class. Ron didn’t appreciate it, but at least he didn’t blow up the feather like Seamus Finnigan. With the recent trend of building LEGO structures that look like they are floating in the air based on the Tensegrity concept, let’s have a quick look at the levitation spell and some Harry Potter related Tensegrity stuctures.

We saw the levitation spell in action in the first Charms class Harry Potter had at Hogwarts. While Hermione (not surprisingly) was able to get her feather floating in the air, others were not that lucky. Seamus Finnigan for example pronounced the spell Wingardium Leviosa as Wingard Liosa causing the feather to blow up instead. Ron’s didn’t move at all, but it could be seen as a success not having it explode.

My model of the Charms classroom. Hermione’s feather is flying – and Seamus has just put his on fire…

Charms teacher Professor Filius Flitwick was trying hard to get them to memorise the correct incarnation – and the associated wand movements: “Swish and flick”.

With the re-introduction of LEGO Harry Potter sets in 2018, a new 1×2 tile with printing of the Wingardium Leviosa instructions were in Hogwarts Whomping Willow set and later on the 2019 LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar. You can just make out the title and see a swishing wand movement and a floating feather. It fits nicely in the somewhat new book bricks.

Tensitional integrity

But as discussed, the key point of this post is to look at Harry Potter themed tensional integrity models.

Tensional integrity (or tensegrity for short) is a cool physics concept that allows you to create what appears to be floating structures based on a system of isolated components under compression inside a network of continuous tension. Well, enough science here – the important thing is they can be built in LEGO

When it comes to the LEGO models, I’m not sure where it started, but JK Brickworks did a marvelous stylish version as shown in the video below.

Tensegrity Leviosa

I did use JK Brickworks’ model as inspiration, but had to adapt to match what (unused) Hogwarts coloured bricks I had available. With that, it can be see I’m still of the belief that a LEGO Hogwarts castle should have sand green roof – not because it is movie correct (as it isn’t), but because the original LEGO Harry Potter sets used that colour.

Anyway, here is my model named “Tensegrity Leviosa”. As seen Ron struggles to make the structure float while Hermione has it sorted. Ron was obviously saying it wrong!

I’ve put the two together into a small video:

Hogwarts express

But there’s more. Looking for other Harry Potter themed models, I came across this one by Martin Latta and Camille Jongy, who have made this tensegrity model named “Meanwhile on the way to Hogwarts”. I really like the landscale and railroad viaduct in particular. Click on the photos below to check out the Flickr page.

Meanwhile on the way to Hogwarts

The dark mark

Another really cool model has been posted by Alyverse on Reddit showing the Dark Mark. A great idea to have floating in the dark sky – and very well built!

That is all for now. Are there any more Harry Potter themed ones I have missed? If you see some, let me know in the comments.

Till then, Build the Magic!

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