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prototype

Mouse Machine Mechanism Prototype

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First draft of the Mouse Machine mechanism. I've put together a model as a test of the layout I sketched out earlier. The mouse will fit on the base plate and will appear to be operating the crank as the handle is turned.


There were a couple of problems with the first draft.

First, the main gear was intended to be flush with the box front but was being pushed away by the pinion gear.

Secondly I had initially made the crank and pinion as two separate parts but on completion it looked like they would be better as a single unit.


Rather than completely remake the model I employed a trick I often use when prototyping. The axle holes in the box side needed to be moved back by 3mm so I remade just the sides with the holes in the correct place, I expanded the hole in the original box, then glued the new sides into place creating a repositioned pair of axle holes.


I also make up a new handle with a longer shaft and glued the pinion to it.


With the drive axle in place I fitted a lock piece to the end opposite the pinion to stop the axle coming out then fitted the yellow horizontal handle to complete the mechanism.


With everything in place it is time to move to the next stage, making a mouse with shoulder and hip joints.

First draft of the Mouse Machine mechanism. I've put together a model as a test of the layout I sketched out earlier. The mouse will fit on the base plate and will appear to be operating the crank as the handle is turned.


There were a couple of problems with the first draft.

First, the main gear was intended to be flush with the box front but was being pushed away by the pinion gear.

Secondly I had initially made the crank and pinion as two separate parts but on completion it looked like they would be better as a single unit.


Rather than completely remake the model I employed a trick I often use when prototyping. The axle holes in the box side needed to be moved back by 3mm so I remade just the sides with the holes in the correct place, I expanded the hole in the original box, then glued the new sides into place creating a repositioned pair of axle holes.


I also make up a new handle with a longer shaft and glued the pinion to it.


With the drive axle in place I fitted a lock piece to the end opposite the pinion to stop the axle coming out then fitted the yellow horizontal handle to complete the mechanism.


With everything in place it is time to move to the next stage, making a mouse with shoulder and hip joints.

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Prototype 2-axis Joint

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Experiments with corrugated card. We seem to have quite a lot of corrugated card lying around the house in the run up to the festive season. Time to put it to some use. I going to see if I can make a poseable model, first step, two axis joint to act as an arm/shoulder. The model is made entirely from corrugated card.


Check out the stop-motion of the joint in action.

The pins are made from rolled up corrugated card.


The shoulder/body pin is glued into place. The other pin is to the outer U-shaped piece.


The piece on the inside is glued to the pin so that it is free to rotate but not to pull out.

Experiments with corrugated card. We seem to have quite a lot of corrugated card lying around the house in the run up to the festive season. Time to put it to some use. I going to see if I can make a poseable model, first step, two axis joint to act as an arm/shoulder. The model is made entirely from corrugated card.


Check out the stop-motion of the joint in action.

The pins are made from rolled up corrugated card.


The shoulder/body pin is glued into place. The other pin is to the outer U-shaped piece.


The piece on the inside is glued to the pin so that it is free to rotate but not to pull out.

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Contra-Rotating Robot Prototype

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I've scanned in the penguin parts from the previous post and have them lined up ready to convert into a suitable digital format. I'm still mulling over the final details of the design so while I'm doing that I've made a start on the Contra-rating Robot idea. First step, I've put together this prototype for the head and body.

The inner axle fixes to the inside of the head...


...the outer axle fixes to the body.


The finished robot will fit atop the Co-axial Drive Essential Mechanism with the head rotating one way and the body/arms rotating the other. I need to sort out the legs now, the tricky part is going to be fitting the two axles up through the box top and through the two legs. Should be fun :-)

I've scanned in the penguin parts from the previous post and have them lined up ready to convert into a suitable digital format. I'm still mulling over the final details of the design so while I'm doing that I've made a start on the Contra-rating Robot idea. First step, I've put together this prototype for the head and body.

The inner axle fixes to the inside of the head...


...the outer axle fixes to the body.


The finished robot will fit atop the Co-axial Drive Essential Mechanism with the head rotating one way and the body/arms rotating the other. I need to sort out the legs now, the tricky part is going to be fitting the two axles up through the box top and through the two legs. Should be fun :-)

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Sledging Penguins - Prototype Model

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The co-axial drive from Essential Mechanisms looks to be a promising starting point for a few different paper projects. I was planning on making the contra-rotating robot first but I've been distracted by Mr Cool and his fabulous mash-up with the Runaway Rabbit. I mentioned in a comment on the post that I might have a go at something similar myself but with sledging penguins instead of the rabbits in cars.

Here are my (very rough) sketches of what I had in mind. The idea is fairly straightforward. There is a large rotating disk connected to one axle. This moves the outer penguin round and round. The inner penguin is mounted on the other axle and turns on the spot in the other direction.

First step, design a penguin on a sledge. Presented here is my first freehand draft amde from coloured card. Next step, I'll cut the model up and lay out the parts on my scanner then outline them in Illustrator making a set of printable parts.

The co-axial drive from Essential Mechanisms looks to be a promising starting point for a few different paper projects. I was planning on making the contra-rotating robot first but I've been distracted by Mr Cool and his fabulous mash-up with the Runaway Rabbit. I mentioned in a comment on the post that I might have a go at something similar myself but with sledging penguins instead of the rabbits in cars.

Here are my (very rough) sketches of what I had in mind. The idea is fairly straightforward. There is a large rotating disk connected to one axle. This moves the outer penguin round and round. The inner penguin is mounted on the other axle and turns on the spot in the other direction.

First step, design a penguin on a sledge. Presented here is my first freehand draft amde from coloured card. Next step, I'll cut the model up and lay out the parts on my scanner then outline them in Illustrator making a set of printable parts.

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Project Ideas Based Around the Co-axial Drive

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Here are a few ideas to get you started with paper animations based on the Co-axial Drive . I think I might give the robot model a try myself, could be a delightful little project :-) The key features of the essential mechanism are that the rotating shafts are vertical, they are one inside the other and they turn in opposite directions. These starting point models use those features to bring automata to life.

 

Here are a few ideas to get you started with paper animations based on the Co-axial Drive . I think I might give the robot model a try myself, could be a delightful little project :-) The key features of the essential mechanism are that the rotating shafts are vertical, they are one inside the other and they turn in opposite directions. These starting point models use those features to bring automata to life.

 

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Co-axial gear. Next step

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Further adventure with my co-axial drive! I've changed the axle diameter so that they are a loose fit one inside the other then remade the gears so that they fit on the new shafts.


This frame holds everything in alignment.


The top piece fits loosely over the shaft keeping the vertical axle straight. Turning the pinion gear (orange) turns the blue gears in opposite directions. This prototype runs beautifully smoothly so I have high hopes for the finished project!


Next step, I'll fit the end piece into position and attach a a crank handle. Looking good!

Further adventure with my co-axial drive! I've changed the axle diameter so that they are a loose fit one inside the other then remade the gears so that they fit on the new shafts.


This frame holds everything in alignment.


The top piece fits loosely over the shaft keeping the vertical axle straight. Turning the pinion gear (orange) turns the blue gears in opposite directions. This prototype runs beautifully smoothly so I have high hopes for the finished project!


Next step, I'll fit the end piece into position and attach a a crank handle. Looking good!

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Runaway Rabbit, Final Stages

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Runaway Rabbit. I've completed the parts for this new model and put together a test assembly. I'm really pleased with how the motion has come out, Check out the Instagram video below to see what you think. Next step is to add colour, then photography and final release. Shouldn't be too long now :-)


The rabbit body is on a tilting platform, the rear of which is linked to the top of the box by a push rod so that as the car moves the rabbit rocks back and forth.

 

Runaway Rabbit. I've completed the parts for this new model and put together a test assembly. I'm really pleased with how the motion has come out, Check out the Instagram video below to see what you think. Next step is to add colour, then photography and final release. Shouldn't be too long now :-)


The rabbit body is on a tilting platform, the rear of which is linked to the top of the box by a push rod so that as the car moves the rabbit rocks back and forth.

 

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Runaway Car Prototype

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First steps in the design of the Run Away Car paper animation...

My latest project is based around the Crank/Slider Essential Mechanism. Currently the model features a rabbit in a run-away car though the animal may change at a later stage. I've completed a couple of prototypes and think that I have the mechanism sorted, just the character to finish off.


The first draft featured a profile view of a rabbit, just to see if the movement worked okay. It did.


The base plate for the rabbit was hinged at the front in the first prototype.


In the second prototype I fitted a rear hinge on the baseplate. The movement looked much more interesting.


I initially experimented with arms that moved via pull tabs inside the 3D body. It worked but in the end I decided against it as the parts were rather cramped making construction difficult.


Next step, I'm going to scan the various hand-cut parts into the computer, finalise the head then rebuild the model as a test.

First steps in the design of the Run Away Car paper animation...

My latest project is based around the Crank/Slider Essential Mechanism. Currently the model features a rabbit in a run-away car though the animal may change at a later stage. I've completed a couple of prototypes and think that I have the mechanism sorted, just the character to finish off.


The first draft featured a profile view of a rabbit, just to see if the movement worked okay. It did.


The base plate for the rabbit was hinged at the front in the first prototype.


In the second prototype I fitted a rear hinge on the baseplate. The movement looked much more interesting.


I initially experimented with arms that moved via pull tabs inside the 3D body. It worked but in the end I decided against it as the parts were rather cramped making construction difficult.


Next step, I'm going to scan the various hand-cut parts into the computer, finalise the head then rebuild the model as a test.

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Paper Alphabet Coming Soon

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As easy as ABC! I'm just finishing up a new project for Brother Int. The last of the letters have been assembled...


Just the photography to do. Check back soon for details of how to download the entire alphabet.


As easy as ABC! I'm just finishing up a new project for Brother Int. The last of the letters have been assembled...


Just the photography to do. Check back soon for details of how to download the entire alphabet.

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Flying Fish Prototype

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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.

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.

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