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Flying Fish Prototype

Average: 5 (2 votes)

Time to try adding an animated character to the Crank/Cam project! For this rough and ready prototype I put together a simple Flying Fish model. I cut out two identical fish shaped sides and glued them together at the nose and tail. I then glued the fish body to the top of the main push rod.

The fins/wings are made from double thickness card. To make the joint as flexible as possible I slotted the wings through a hole in the body side then glued on strips to stop the wings falling out.

You can see where I have tried different attachment points for the wing push rod. It worked best with the push rod close to the body.

The other end of the wing push rods are connected to the crank driven slider tube making the wings flap quickly as the handle is turned. The result works a treat! I will probably make this into a downloadable project shortly.

Crank/Cam Prototype - Almost Complete

Average: 5 (3 votes)

I've completed the layout of parts for this Crank/Cam Essential Mechanism. The final tweaks to the cam profile have made the finished mechanism run beautifully smoothly. As the handle is turned the main orange push-rod traces out an almost circular path above the box top.

The pink cams move the yellow cam follower up and down on the push rod three times for each turn of the handle.

The mechanism will make a really interesting starting point for your own paper animation characters, especially as a flying model where the character's wings flap briskly and the character rocks back and forth. Next step, assembly photography then I'll release the completed kit.

Prototype Crank/Cam Essential Mechanism.

Average: 5 (3 votes)

The Essential Mechanisms are a set of paper mechanisms that you can use as starting points for your own animated paper models. I'm working on a new addition to the set. The Crank/Cam mechanism is based on the mechanism used in the Flying Santa and the Die Fledermaus model. The crank turns one revolution per turn of the handle meanwhile the cam turns at a higher speed. That means that we can have, for example, a flying pig that smoothly moves up and down whiles the wings flutter frantically.

Here's the first draft of the main mechanism. The three lobed cams drive the cam follower up and down three times for each turn of the crank. The cam follower can then be connected to a set of wings, arms or whatever you choose to bring the model to life. The drive is running a little stiff at the moment so I'll be making a couple of changes before the next prototype. Meanwhile, why not download one of the other Essential Mechanisms to keep you going while you wait?

Laser Cutting and Card

Average: 5 (3 votes)

I have finally got myself a printer that will handle thick card. The Epson XP-760 has a special slot at the back that has a straight though path so the material printed doesn't need to bend. I'm not sure the maximum thickness it will handle but it works fine with the 580gsm board I had in stock. This allows me to try a few experiements mixing printing and laser cutting. I designed a simple slot-together rocket in Illustrator. The file was split into two layers. A colour scheme to print onto the card and a cut line for the laser cutter. I made the print slighly oversize to allow for errors in alignment then after a few experiments settled on a work flow that seems to work well.

I added a small target to the print which I was able to use to initially line up the laser.

With everything lined up nicely the parts looked good.

The two parts slot together to make this 3D rocket. Currently the card is printed on one side only. Front to back registration is definitely going to be a problem on the Epson but I could get some cards printed at the local printer as I know they can accurately align the printed faces

That leads to the possibility of a new product for the Flying Pig website. A greating card that opens out to reveal a sheet or two of pre-cut preprinted parts that slot together to make a scene. Here are a couple of non-printed first drafts. I'll be popping down to the printer on Monday for quotes...

Flying Pig New Website

Average: 5 (2 votes)

I am pleased to announce the relaunch of the website!

Flying Pig is is your source for my printed paper kits and book. I've updated the shipping to give free shipping on orders over £25 and cheaper shipping on smaller order in the UK. I've also added an account system so you can store your delivery address and keep a record of your orders. Check out the website by clicking on the images below. See you there!

Look out for some new printed paper projects soon!


Platonic Bird Prototype

Average: 5 (2 votes)

The Next Platonic Friend.

I'm working on a series of five models based on the five platonic solids The tetrahedron is the platonic solid with the fewest faces. Each of the the four faces is an equilateral triangle. I made up a tetrahedron from the Platonic Solids set here and spent a morning rotating it round in my hand trying to visualise which Platonic Friend it could be converted into. Here's what I came up with, the prototype Platonic Bird.

I had originally made the legs from a single layer of flat card but found that they weren't able to support the weight of the body. Instead I have gone for laminated legs. I shaped one layer in the shape that I wanted bending the leg at the knee and ankle. I thn glued a second layer of card onto the first keeping the knee and ankle bends. I then set the preshaped piece aside for the glue to dry. I might end up using a third layer on the final version but for now two layers seems to work fine. Once the glue was completely dry I cut out the outline of the leg and glued it to the body. I then glued another another piece to the foot and cut out the rear toe. All it all it was an interesting exercise in paper engineering and more to the point, it worked!

Next step. I'll scan the parts into the computer and finalise the design then I'll add some colour and pattern.

First of the Platonic Friends

Average: 5 (1 vote)

This twelve faced regular solid is a dodecahedron. It is one of the five Platonic solids. Starting with this shape I'm planning a series of five paper toys called the Platonic Friends.

Here's number one, the Platonic Elephant.

The download includes three versions, two patterned and one plain for your own decorations.

Members and Patrons can download the file from the shop for free, thanks for your support! Non members can join in the fun for £2.00 / $3.00 USD

Platonic Friends

Average: 5 (1 vote)

Platonic solids are regular 3D shapes with all the faces and corners being the same. They are named after Plato who was first person to enumerate them. There are five Platonic Solids, you can download and make a set of them here.

How about this for an idea? Platonic friends. Five cute paper animals each based around one of the Platonic solids. Here's my first draft - the Platonic Elephant.

The Platonic Elephant is based around the dodecahedron. A solid shape made from twelve regular pentagons.

To this I've added face tail and legs to make a Platonic friend. Next step - scan the parts and transfer them to the computer before adding colour as appropriate.