Sun 6th Apr 2014

Two YouTube videos for your delight!

Firstly. Cool022883 has produced this delightful "Cow Jumped over the Moon" model using a combination of crank slider, leaping goat and what looks like the head from the Rumination model. Nice work!

Secondly Michael42er has modified the latest RRVS mechanism and used it to charm this paper snake. Thanks both of you, I always look forward to seeing what you will do next!

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Sun 6th Apr 2014

ThePropsNerd has been at it again on the Instructables website. He had originally made a version of the Display Gears project from acrylic, this time he added an external crank to the side of the box linking to the drive gear with edge on gear. Nice work PropsNerd

On the same site a few days later, user rfairbanks uploaded his own steampunk style Display Gear using painted wooden parts and mylar gears for smooth running. The result is this intricare looking delight.

Thanks for sharing, both of you.

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Sat 5th Apr 2014

Add to Cart to download this kit for free !
Download Reptile

M.C Escher was a Dutch artist who specialised in producing mathemetically inspired wood cuts. Many of his pictures features intricate tesselations of creatures perfectly locked together. The reptiles in this post, (Rep-tiles! Geddit!?) are copied closely from one of his pictures. You can download the template from the link if you would like to try them out yourself.

Try printing the multi-tile sheet onto three different colours of card and cutting them out.

They should fit together nicely but with thin card it works best if you flip the tiles over and tape the tiles together on the back.

Tiles work best with a thick, inflexible material. Laser cut plywood or acrylic sheet are perfect. I set the internal lines on the design to be a much lower power than the cut lines so that they didn't cut right the way through.

A variety of ply wood and acylic tiles make for an interesting arrangement.

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Fri 4th Apr 2014

After a short hiatus my paper animations kit "Gizmos" is back in print! The new format looks great, I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on my author's copies.

The book and presentation box includes all the parts you need to make six animated paper projects. the Marching Robot, Die Fledermaus, Surfing Bunny, Mouthy Moose, Schrödinger's Cat and the Shrimp Boat.

From what I can see on the Barnes and Noble website the book is only available to pick up in store. Looks like you can only buy it if you are in the US and near a Barnes and Noble store. If anyone can track it down on line let me know and I'll add a link.

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Thu 3rd Apr 2014

My first draft of a circular bodied owl was based on the Owl Box project. The body was a bit on the skinny side - definitely in need of fattening up!

Rather than using a cylinder for the body, I felt a frustum was more appropriate. Luckily I have just the tool for the job...

<---New section added 5th Apr --->

The owl body is made from a cone shape with the top cut off. The mathematical name for this shape is a frustum.

I made up a rough version of the body shape freehand. Cutting out a curve of card, I rolled it round and trimmed it until it was the size and shape that I was looking for.

I then measured it up ready for transfer to the computer. The important measurements are the radius of the bottom circle (r1), the radius of the top circle (r2) and the height of the model (h). I measured these dimensions and noted them down.

I then downloaded the spreadsheet from an earlier blog post here and opened it in Open Office. (It should also work in excel but I no longer have a copy after Microsoft Word and I fell out.)

I typed in the three measurements into the three arrowed boxes. The circled measurements and the angle are all I need now to construct the net of the owl frustum.

<--- end of new section --->

Having decided on the size that I was after, I entered the various numbers into the spread sheet. Using the dimensions given by the spread sheet I constructed the curved part used in the owl's body.

It all fits together rather neatly. I'll be making the finished owl available as a download on his own then as part of the rrvs type 2 mechanism.

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Download RRVS Type 2
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Turn the handle on the side of the box and the vertical shaft rotates back and forth. Use this mechanism as the starting point for your own character based designs or as a way of learning first hand how mechanisms work.

Look out for the owl model using this mechanism coming soon.

Print out the parts onto thin card. You will also need some normal copier paper to make the paper straps. Score along the dotted and dashed lines and cut out the holes before carefully cutting out the parts.

Fold up and glue the side tabs on the box to make right angle triangle tube sections. Fold round and glue down the other side to complete the base.

Glue together the two box sides.

Fit the base into the box

Fold in and glue the four tabs to the inside walls of the box. Make sure everything stays as square as possible.

Assemble the hinged plate as shown.

Make up the two crank ends from double thickness card.

Glue together the push rod and glue on the two crank ends.

Roll round and glue the four paper tubes accurately lining up the edges with the arrows.

Thread the second-to-shortest tube into the crank ends.

Assemble the two crank pieces

Finish up the crank pieces and glue them to the axle.

Fit the shorter of the two remaining axles into the crank gluing them fully home in the square tubes.

Fit the crank into the box using the picture above to help with orientation. (Note especially which way up the push rod is.)

Glue the hinged plate to the back of the box.

Glue the push rod tab to the front of the hinged plate.

Glue the stop to the vertical shaft.

Make the handle in three steps.

Glue the handle to the crank.

Cut two paper strips 5mm x 100mm from ordinary copier paper. Glue them to the grey areas on the vertical shaft.

Wrap the two straps twice each round the shaft, one in each direction.

Add glue to the grey areas on the locater plate.

Place the vertical shaft over the green line on the locater plate. Pull the two straps tight and glue them onto the glued area. Cut off any remaining paper.

Assemble the triangular push rod and glue the back of the locater plate onto it.

Fit the vertical shaft into the hole in the bottom of the box.

Glue the tab on the end of the triangular push rod to the hinged plate.

Complete the model by gluing the box top into place. Once the glue is dry, turn the handle and the vertical shaft will twist back and forth.

Next step, design a character to go with the mechanism.

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I've completed the parts and layout for the type 2 RRVS mechanism. All the photography is done so I'll probably have it available to download some time tomorrow. In the mean time, to keep you interested in the possibilities of this mechanism, here's a clip of a Rotating Reciprocating Owl from my Instagram feed. Enjoy!

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Mon 31st Mar 2014

Presented here, the final stage prototype of the Rotating Reciprocating Vertical Shaft Type 2 mechanism.

This is the completed mechanism
ready for coloring and photography.

The vertical shaft turns back and forth as the handle is turned, In total the travel is just over three quarters of a turn
each way.


Turn the handle to drive the crank...

...which in turn moves the hinged plate back and forth...

...driving the belt and turning the vertical shaft.

Seen below is a video clip of the final prototype in action taken from my Instagram stream

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Sun 30th Mar 2014

There are two main parts to the type 2 Reciprocating Rotating Vertical Shaft mechanism (RRVS-t2) The first part, which I mentioned in the previous post on the subject, is the pair of paper straps wrapped around the vertical shaft that do the actual turning. These straps are glued to a beam which moves back and forth to rotate the shaft clockwise then anti-clockwise.

The second part of the mechanism is the part that drives the beam back and forth. I'm using a crank for this. You can see the first crank I created to the right of this picture. It worked but took up too much space so the vertical shaft didn't fit in the box.

The redesigned crank fitted into the box is about half the width of the first version. Actually probably narrower than it needs to be. The crank connects via a linkage to a hinged plate at the front of the box.

The box is closed and the beam is connected between the vertical shaft and the hinged plate. The individual parts of the mechanism work nicely but I need to work on how everything is lined up. Moving the hinged plate back and forth by hand you can see that the vertical shaft rotates almost a complete revolution in each direction.

Next step line everything up properly and fit it neatly into the box complete with drive handle.

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Wed 26th Mar 2014

Add to Cart to download this kit for free !
Download Three Layer Gears

I have a large project to complete for a local museum where I'll be making a series of automata depicting local historical characters. These will be on display in the museum, powered by electric motors operated by a push switch. Hopefully the finished models will be on display for a long time so I need to be able to make repairs when pieces wear out. Obviously wooden dowels axles are out, I'm replacing them with brass tube. The problem remains, how to fit the gear to the axle so that it can be changed if necessary. Through a process of trial and error I think I'm pretty close to the laser cut gears that I want.

I'll add a download file with this post for anyone who wants to try this out.

The gear is made from three main parts in 3mm ply plus two axle parts from 6mm ply. I'll added a little alignment triangle to each of the gear rings mainly so I know which is the front and which is the back.

I've also cut out a small section of rack with the same pitch as the gear teeth. This helps lining up the layers as they are glued together.

One triple thickness gear. Twenty three teeth. That's a prime number that is.

I punched a dent close to the end of the brass axle piece. It might be better if I put a solid filler piece in the tube whilst I do this. I then drilled through one side only with a 1.5mm drill bit.

I drilled a hole into the side of a hub piece. One side only again.

I pushed the hub onto the axle then twisted them round until the holes lined up.

I then inserted the drill into the hole and drilled right the way through and out the other side.

Finally I fitted a split pin through the hub and the axle.

I finished of by threading the axle though the hole in the gear wheel and gluing the hub and gear together. Finished off by gluing a second hub on the back of the gear.

Here it is meshing with a 47 tooth gear. Looking good! If I need to change a gear wheel in a completed model I'll be able to pull out the split pin and slide it off the axle. Perfect.

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