Sunday, April 11, 2010

DIY hand-cranked geared string winding machine

video
One dedicated reader of The Autoamta / Automaton Blog made this cool prototype string-winder contraption. It makes a center-pull ball of string with a diamond pattern. To generate the gear profiles, he used Matthias Wandel's Gear Template Generator.

Here is a nice schematic drawing of the device followed by an explanation.
DIY hand-cranked string winding machine

From bhaaluu's description:

The hand-crank turns a 30-tooth peg-wheel gear which drives a 10-tooth peg wheel gear. The 10-tooth peg-wheel gear spins on a fixed vertical shaft. connected via a wooden tube to the spindle head, which rotates at a 3:1 ratio. At the top of the fixed vertical shaft is a 15-tooth spur gear. It is fixed to the vertical shaft and doesn't move. At the base of the spindle tube is a 42-tooth spur gear which rotates on it's own axis, which is tilted at an angle. As the spindle tube rotates around the vertical shaft, the 42-tooth spur gear rotates. The spindle tube, a heavy-walled cardboard tube, is connected to the 42-tooth spur gear, so every time it turns around the fixed vertical shaft, it rotates. This is what gives the diamond pattern. This string winding contraption is a prototype.

[ Thanks bhaaluu! ]


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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Nostromo watch, inspired by the ship in Alien

Nostromo watch, inspired by the ship in Alien
We don't travel down the modern-watch road too often here on The Automata / Automaton Blog, but this one recently featured on Engadget is just too mechanically cool to pass by. The watch, called "The Nostromo", is inspired by its namesake -- the ship in the movie Alien. The exposed gears -- and everything else -- are stunning.

Here's Engadget's recent post on the Nostromo Watch.

[ Thanks Tom! ]


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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mechanical sculpture featuring wooden gears

Another excellent mechanical sculpture by Brett Dickins featuring wooden gears and other mechanical parts -- all made from wood!

See more videos of mechanical sculptures by Brett Dickins.


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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Large-scale all wood "pocket" watch

Back in March of 2007, I posted about a real wooden pocket watch. The one shown here is also made of wood and also a pocket watch. The big difference is that this one isn't at pocket watch scale. It's actually 10-1/2" in diameter and 3" thick. Even so, this is a stunning demonstration of artistry and craftsmanship.

Some details on the watch:

The escape is a double-roller Swiss Lever with a half-second balance wheel. ...The escape has banking pins and a safety roller, so - like a watch - it runs in any position. You can even shake it or bang it around, and she keeps on ticking!

The balance wheel is in Teflon bushings and the escape wheel is on ball bearings. The pins on the balance wheel have small screws inside to adjust the poise. The cherry pallets are adjustable. The anchor for the "hairspring" (actually a very small clock spring) moves with an adjustment lever to regulate the watch. It keeps perfect time.

Here is a link to see more images of the wooden watch.


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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Hanayama O'Gear cast metal brain teaser puzzle

Hanayama O'Gear  cast metal brain teaser puzzle
The object of the O'Gear Cast Brain Teaser Puzzle is to remove the 5-pronged gear from the square box, then replace the gear into box so that gear tooth with hole (not shown here) is inside the box. Rated as a 'medium' level of difficulty.

From the puzzle description
First developed in 19th century Britain, this die-cast zinc cube and key is an ancient puzzle that still baffles minds today. A prizewinner from the 2001 1st Annual World Puzzle Design competition, this puzzle was designed by the young Dutch phenomenon, Oskar, consider to be one of the world's brightest creators. The gear exhibits a unique kind of movement. Once together in its final form of beauty, the gear fixed in place in the cubic box could very well serve as a desk decoration to satisfy a kind of soothing, intellectual curiosity.

Here is a link to the Cast O'Gear Puzzle


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Monday, November 30, 2009

Beautiful all-wood marble run machine

I don't know if this is part of a system, or something that some talented individual came up with, but this much is sure: it is one beautiful and well designed all-wood marble track. Love the wooden gears!


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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Exploding and reassembling picture with gears

Here is a great wall-mounted kinetic sculpture featuring wooden gears and other wooden mechanical parts. The mechanism makes the frame of the piece come apart, then come back together. The piece is driven by an electric motor.

[ Thanks Art! ]


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Thursday, November 19, 2009

A 'Convolution' of purely wooden mechanisms

Woodworker Ken Schweim built this collection of wood mechanisms and titled it Convolution. It is a wonderful assortment of drives, linkages, and gears. Well done, Ken!

From the video description:
This is a collection of wood mechanisms driven by a common wood crank. The entire project is wood, no nails, screws, wires, etc. Each assembly is removable. The wood is primarily common pine with some black walnut. Total time required was about 4 months with the majority in the design phase. I was going to add more to the open sides and the interior but decided against it for two reasons; one - it would require more cranking power and two, it would make it difficult to see the existing interior mechanicals. Plus, it now leaves the door open for another possible project to explore more wood mechanisms. In reviewing the audio I mistakenly said there is wire in this thing but not so, it is all wood.



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Monday, October 26, 2009

Techno Gears Marble Mania Genius Set

Techno Gears Marble Mania Genius Construction Set

The new Genius edition of Marble Mania construction set includes 500 pieces of marble track components allowing you to build five independent tracks that all lead back to one of two marble lift systems.

Here's a link with some more photos and bit more info on The Learning Journey Techno Gears Marble Mania Genius Construction Set.


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Saturday, October 03, 2009

Hand-cranked wooden rotating iPhone dock

In part inspired by The Automata / Automaton Blog, Murtaza Lakdawala created this hand-cranked wooden iPhone dock. By turning the handle the gears will reorient the iPhone to either the upright or horizontal position.

Check out Murtaza's blog for complete details on the iPhone dock project.


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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Motorized wooden crawler by Osamu Kanda

Another video of a nifty wooden creation from Osamu Kanda -- this one called, appropriately, Crawl. I love the creative use of a film feed mechanism. Add motor, wooden gears, wheels, and front legs and there is something compelling about the way it pulls itself along.


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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cogitate - online engineering puzzle game

Cogitate - engineering video game with gears
Cogitate is an engineering problem solving online game. The object is to place beams, gears, and motors on the stage in order to guide the golden cog to the target. Each piece you use to engineer your solution has a price, so you have to try to come up with the most cost-efficient one for each level.


Here's a link to the free online engineering game called Cogitate.


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Friday, July 17, 2009

Stuhrling men's automatic skeleton watch

I know: there are probably dozens of excellent blogs that talk about nothing but watches. I don't know much about them, really, but I couldn't resist sharing all the shiny miniature mechanical goodness embodied in this one made by Stuhrling.

From the watch description
A skeletonized design displays the mechanical movement, and a series of gold-tone alternating Arabic numerals and indexes bring at-a-glance precision. A deep black crocodile leather band comes equipped with a sturdy buckle-clasp closure. Other details include 41.5-millimeter case and a gold-tone stationary, stainless steel bezel. Characterized by its distinct beauty, this exquisite timepiece sets itself apart. Powered by automatic-self-winding movement, this watch is water resistant up to 165 feet.

Here's a link for more details on this automatic skeleton watch
with an extensive write up of Swiss watchmaker, Stuhrling.


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Monday, June 29, 2009

Gear Materials, Properties, and Manufacture book

Gear Materials, Properties, and Manufacture book
OK, I am basing this on the table of contents (see below)...but this has got to be one of the definitive treatments on topic of gears. Any engineers out there to verify my guess?

Chapter 1 - Basic Understanding of Gears
Chapter 2 - Gear Tribology and Lubrication
Chapter 3 - Ferrous and Nonferrous Alloys
Chapter 4 - Plastics
Chapter 5 - Machining, Grinding, and Finishing
Chapter 6 - Casting, Forming, and Forging
Chapter 7 - Powder Metallurgy
Chapter 8 - Through Hardening
Chapter 9 - Carburizing
Chapter 10 - Nitriding
Chapter 11 - Carbonitriding
Chapter 12 - Induction and Flame Hardening
Chapter 13 - Gear Failure Modes and Analysis
Chapter 14 - Fatigue and Life Prediction
Chapter 15 - Mechanical Testing

Here is Amazon's listing for Gear Materials, Properties, and Manufacture



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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Medieval astronomical wooden clock design

Take a look at the beautiful wooden clock video. The wooden mechanism clock was designed by Clayton Boyer and built by Adrian Iredale. Beautiful work. One day, I'm going work up the courage (or set aside a substantial amount of time) to make one of Boyer's amazing clock designs.


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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Free gear theory manual PDF from Boston Gear

Free gear theory PDF courtesy of Boston Gear
Boston Gear offers an overview of gear theory in the form of a free 5.5MB PDF file.

From the gear theory download page
This engineering information explains gear nomenclature, tooth formulas, backlash, tooth strength, torque and horsepower requirements and other standard gear selection formulas. Our Gear Theory Manual is a must for anyone who frequently deals with gearing in mechanical components.

Here's the link to the free gear theory PDF courtesy of Boston Gear.


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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chun Yeh Gear Co., LTD - nice gears and photos

Chun Yeh Gear Co., LTD - nice gears and photos
General Industrial Corp based in Tiawaan produces spur gears, bevel gears (straight and spiral), worm gears, gear shafts, motor shafts, output shafts, internal gears, pinions, and splined gears.

They offer products in steel alloys, stainless steel, aluminum alloys, plastics, bronze, and bronze alloys.

While their site is only a few simple static pages, they have a few stunning photographs of gears that are worth a look.

Here's the link to Chun Yeh Gear Co. gear products web site.


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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Big Book of Wooden Clocks: Projects & Patterns

Big Book of Wooden Clocks: 25 Projects & Patterns
Here is a new book on wooden clocks scheduled to be released in July of 2009.

The book compiles a number of projects from Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts magazine.It looks pretty good -- especially the wooden gear clock depicted on the cover and detailed in pages 120 to to 134. Those 14 pages alone were enough to convince me to pre-order it.

Product Description from Amazon
Featuring some of the most popular projects from sold-out issues of Scroll Saw Woodworking & Craftsmagazine, the projects in this collection include a wide range of clock styles, such as grandfather clocks with intricate fretwork, classic pendulum clocks, and whimsical desk clocks. Detailed plans for more than 25 projects cover the entire process with step-by-step instructions, complete materials lists, instructions on buying and inserting clock parts, cutting the clock using a scroll saw, assembling the pieces, and applying finishes.

Here's more information on Big Book of Wooden Clocks: 29 Favorite Projects & Patterns .


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Friday, May 08, 2009

GEARS video game teaches mechanical thinking

GEARS video game teaches mechanical thinking
The object of the free online game called "GEARS" is to get the end gear rotating in the correct direction. The end gear is the blight blue gear. You can tell which direction the gear should rotate by the arrow.

For gears to rotate they must be attached to the start gear. The start gear is the gear with the Robot in the middle.

You add new gears to the machine by dragging them into place. Once all of the necessary gears are in place, click the start gear to set the machine in motion.

Here is a link to the GEARS video game.

[ Thanks Andrew! ]


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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

More books on gears, theory, and applications

As a continuation of my early post about books on gear design and fabrication, here are some other books that I have turned up. These definitely fall into the more esoteric and expensive category.

Gear Geometry and Applied TheoryGear Geometry and Applied Theory
by Faydor L. Litvin and Alfonso Fuentes

Product Description from Amazon
"This revised, expanded edition covers the theory, design, geometry and manufacture of all types of gears and gear drives. An invaluable reference for designers, theoreticians, students, and manufacturers, the second edition includes advances in gear theory, gear manufacturing, and computer simulation. Among the new topics are: new geometry for gears and pumps; new design approaches for planetary gear trains and bevel gear drives; an enhanced approach for stress analysis; new methods of grinding and gear shaving; and new theory on the simulation and its application."


Gear Noise and VibrationGear Noise and Vibration, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
by J. Derek Smith

Product Description from Amazon
"Based on more than 40 years of consultation and teaching experience, the Second Edition demonstrates logical gear noise and vibration approaches without the use of complex mathematics or lengthy computation methods. A straightforward source for enhanced gear design, assessment, and development practices;enriched with more than 150 figures."


Gear Drive SystemsGear Drive Systems
by Peter Lynwander



Analytical Mechanics of GearsAnalytical Mechanics of Gears
by Earle Buckingham


Involute Spur Gears - Design and Lathe CuttingInvolute Spur Gears - Design and Lathe Cutting
by Earle Buckingham

Product Description from Amazon
"Chapter titles are ...(1) The Involute Spur Gear and Its Properties ...(2) Design of Involute Gear Tooth Profiles ...(3) Methods of Production ...(4) Methods of Testing Gears ...(5) Strength of Gears."


Gear Hobbing, Shaping and ShavingGear Hobbing, Shaping and Shaving: A Guide to Cycle Time Estimating and Process Planning
by Robert Endoy



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Thursday, April 30, 2009

List of books on gear design and fabrication

After seeing the beautiful use of gears in Bill Durovchic's kinetic sculpture, I started looking for books on gears. The following books all look good and get great ratings from Amazon's vast customer base.

Additional suggestions are welcome!

Handbook of Practical Gear DesignHandbook of Practical Gear Design (Mechanical Engineering, CRC Press Hardcover)
by Darle W. Dudley

Product Description from Amazon
"For more than 30 years the book Practical Gear Design, later re-titled Handbook of Practical Gear Design, has been the leading engineering guide and reference on the subject. It is now available again in its most recent edition. The book is a detailed, practical guide and reference to gear technology. The design of all types of gears is covered, from those for small mechanisms to large industrial applications."


Gears & Gear CuttingGears & Gear Cutting
by Ivan Law

Product Description from Amazon
"Gears in one form or another are part of most mechanisms, but they are by no means as simple as they may appear. This book explains simply and comprehensively the underlying theory involved, and in its second part, how to cut gears on a lathe or milling machine."


Gear Design SimplifiedGear Design Simplified
by by Franklin Jones and Henry Ryffel

Product Description from Amazon
"Contains a series of simply diagrammed gear-designing charts, illustrating solutions to practical problems.Presents all of the rules, formulas, and examples applying to all types of gears."


Manual of Gear Design (Vol. 1-3)Manual of Gear Design (Vol. 1-3)
by by Holbrook Horton and Earle Buckingham

Product Description from Amazon
"These manuals conveniently gather together the necessary information required for solving a majority of gear problems. The first section contains tables and information on calculating gear rations, as well as tables of factors and involute functions. The second section cover subjects on spur and internal gears, while section three focuses on information pertaining to helical and spiral gears."


The Art of Gear FabricationThe Art of Gear Fabrication
by Prem H Daryani

Product Description from Amazon
"This in-depth guidebook places emphasis on teaching beginners and advanced planners how to process gears, and will enable manufacturing engineers familiar with machine shop practice to be specialists in the gear manufacturing field. The first few chapters are devoted to common gear nomenclature and analysis of processing of six typical gears, including explanations of the logic and reasoning for every sequence of operation. Subsequent chapters thoroughly describe production, selection of materials, heat treatment, plating, methods of cutting, hobbing, shaping, and grinding."

"Unique in content and broad in scope, The Art of Gear Fabrication provides beginners with sufficient information to independently process six typical gears step by step and presents model numbers, capacity and addresses of gear machinery manufacturers and suppliers at the end of each process description. It also offers gear designers practical and useful hints on reducing fabricating costs. And it contains useful tables from commercial catalogs, including cross-references of different U.S. standards and American stainless steel materials with equivalent German, British, French and Italian materials."

"Additionally, it is essential for manufacturing and design engineers to have sufficient knowledge of various heat treatments and their related cost. Though it is a specialty, the author describes this subject in as easy-to-understand manner as possible. Gear designers and entry-level manufacturing and processing engineers in the machine shop field will find this reference extremely helpful and valuable."
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Here is a link to even more books on gears.


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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hand-cranked gear sculpture by Bill Durovchic

Hand-cranked gear sculpture by Bill Durovchic
Take a look at the stunning mechanical beauty of Bill Durovchic's kinetic sculpture. Shown here is a piece entitled Magnetic Gear Box . The sculpture has a 5-inch diameter steel plate with 3-inch tall black anodized aluminum legs, and some 30 brass gears! When you turn crank, the gears rotate on magnetic spindles. You can reconfigure the spindles to change patterns. Very, very nice.

Visit Bill Durovchic's web site for more information and photographs of his work.

[ Thanks philsing! ]


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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Arthur Ganson @TED: Sculpture that's truly moving

Here is another amazing TED lecture -- this one from one of the greats of kinetic sculpture, Arthur Ganson. The video is about 15 minutes long, and worth every second.

More about Arthur Ganson from the TED web site:
A modern-day creator of "twittering machines," Arthur Ganson uses simple, plain materials to build witty mechanical art. But the wit is not simply about Rube Goldberg-ian chain-reaction gags (though you'll find a few of those). His work examines the quiet drama of physical motion, whether driven by a motor or by the actions of the viewer. Notions of balance, of rising and falling, of action and reaction and consequence, play themselves out in wire and steel and plastic.

Ganson has been an artist-in-residence at MIT (where the Lemelson-MIT Award Program named him an Inventor of the Week, and where his show "Gestural Engineering" is ongoing) and has shown his work at art and science museums around the world -- including a current, held-over show at the phaeno in Wolfsburg, Germany.


[ Thanks Richard and Steve! ]


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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gears + Monkeys = Incongruous Mechanical Fun!

 Gears! Gears! Gears! Movin' Monkeys set
The various Gears! Gears! Gears construction sets have won awards and seem to get great reviews on the whole. I have found the big robust gears make good templates for wooden gears.

This 136-piece set in the series involves a jungle theme. With Gears! Gears! Gears! Movin' Monkeys you can either build the scene shown here or invent your own mechanical-jungle configuration.

The monkeys hang from various appendages to assorted parts of your contraption. I wouldn't necessarily have put gears and monkeys together, but I have to admit the gears and cranks DO look even more fun with tropic foliage and primates all around them.

Here's a product page for Gears! Gears! Gears! Movin' Monkeys from Learning Resources.


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Friday, April 03, 2009

K'NEX Intro to Simple Machines: Gears set

K'NEX Intro to Simple Machines: Gears set
Mechanical toy maker K'NEX has an educational line of toys. One such line is their 'Intro to Simple Machines' which are designed to demonstrate science and technology concepts.

Shown here is a 198-piece set focuses on investigating and experimenting with gears.

From the product description:
These K'Nex kits inspire young minds and satisfy kids' curiosity on how to construct simple machines. Each innovative kit keeps young builders busy and intrigued for hours at a time.

This Gears Kit builds seven different models and allows kids to work solo or as a team. The models demonstrate spur, crown, chain and sprocket gear assemblies. Includes a compartmentalized storage case with snap-on lid. Curriculum sold separately.

Here is the link for the K'NEX Intro to Simple Machines: Gears set.


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Friday, March 06, 2009

How to build working gears from paper cardstock

How to Build Working Gears from Junkmail or Cardstock
Finally! A truly wonderful use for all that junk mail! It pleases me to no end to see such a wasteful nuisance turned into a thing of mechanical beauty. This is from a great lesson on Instructables showing you how to build working gears from junk mail or cardstock.

Here's a video clip to showing the finished gears in action!

Here's the link on Instructables about how to build working gears from junk mail or cardstock.

Kudos!


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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Beautiful hand-cranked Wooden Orrery

Beautiful hand-cranked Wooden Orrery by Dave Goodchild
Dave Goodchild of Norfolk, England has been making automata for well over 10 years. Most recently, he has chosen to focus his considerable talent on the designing and making of orreries -- mechanical models of the solar system. What is particularly remarkable is that he uses wood as the main material.

The artist says he is about to embark on a new 9-planet orrery which will he will blog as it is built. Take a look at the video below to see some of his handiwork in motion.
See more pictures and videos of Dave Goodchild's Orreries at www.woodenorrery.com


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