Thursday, April 01, 2010

Leonardo's Machines: Da Vinci's Inventions Revealed

Leonardo's Machines: Da Vinci's Inventions Revealed
Here is a highly-rated book that explores Leonardo's inventions from flying, hydraulic, war, and theatrical machines to musical instruments. This uses Leonardo's orginal artwork and annotated computer diagrams to show how each of his inventions might would have worked.

It seems to be out-of-print, but can be found used at Amazon. Here's a link to Leonardo's Machines: Da Vinci's Inventions Revealed


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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Four solid wooden clock designs and plans

This clock with wooden works was the maker's FIRST attempt at designing and building a wooden clock. The gears were cut with a home-made CNC machine and finished by hand. The maker's extensive experience with 3D modeling software surely helped, but it is an amazing feat to have a working clock from the first design. He has gone on to design four other clocks. You can order finished clocks from his site. He also sells plans for 40 Euro.

Here is a link to four solid wood clocks by this talented craftsman in Italy.


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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bowling automaton with free & semi-free objects

My friend and colleague, Falk Keuten, over at the excellent Spiel und Kunst mit Mechanik blog has discovered an innovative -- if somewhat mysterious -- automata artist via some YouTube videos.

Check out the use of a ball-lifting mechanism, an articulated figure, a free object (the ball), and some semi-free objects (the bowling pins). This is a impressive combination of techniques. I admire the all wood construction and the fact there is no need for the user to 'reset' the piece.

Here is the original post (in German) from Spiel und Kunst mit Mechanik.

[ Thanks Falk! ]


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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Automata and Social Issues: Anti-War Automata

I posted recently about an automaton that is not based your typical whimsical/humorous theme. Here is a video showing an entire exhibit of automata on a common them addressing a social and political issue.

It's rare to see an exhibit of automata with a common theme. I think you will agree that some of them are very powerful.

[ Thanks David! ]


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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Video Tour of the Modern Automata Museum, Italy

Here is a great video tour of the Modern Automata Museum in Italy.

More on info (mostly in Italian) can be found on the Modern Automata Museum web site.

[ Thanks David! ]


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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Modern Automata Museum - Italy

I don't speak Italian, so much of this site is lost on me. Still, I can tell that this automata museum outside of Rome has a lot to offer. The list of artists in the collections include: Andy Hazell, Malcolm Brook, Luca de Pascalis, Neil Hardy, Rob Ives, Peter Markey, Juta and Jim McCord, Keith Newstead, Renni Orsi, Walter Ruffler, Keisuke Saka, Paul Spooner, Eric Williamson, and Carlos Zapata.

Visit The Modern Automata Museum

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Solvent Transfers for Cutting Wooden Gears or Parts

Here's a method for transferring patterns to various surfaces -- including wood. Called "solvent transfer", you use a photocopy or laser print and solvent to transfer the image to the wood. I've been doing this for about a year now. Once you get the hang of it you can transfer detailed cutting patterns to wood very accurately. This is a great technique for scroll-saw projects. The results are much better than carbon paper and tracing. Two important things to keep in mind: 1 - Lacquer thinner is nasty stuff so where gloves and do it in well ventilated area. 2 - If your pattern isn't symmetrical (like a gear), you must reverse the image before printing.

Here's a how-to on solvent transfers

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