Design and Technology
My Own Personal Yellow Brick Road
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I just thought I’d put together a collection of some of the cool things I’ve come across on looking into mechanisms and structures, it might be a bit disjointed but hopefully it’ll provide some inspiration The self balancing bookshelf: What a conversation starter, I think when I move next I might just have to make […]

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So here he is in all his glory: And finally… in flight! (sorry Dean didn’t have access to my video editing software!) You can see he’s still got a bit of clank and clunk in the movement but I think that it’s caused buy the weight rather than the mechanism. The Pegasus was made out of […]

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dragon test

So, first, what is going to make my dragon fly? As a said before I think that the best mechanism to replicate the movement of the Pegasus will be a crank. A crank is basically a lever attached to a rotating shaft, the diagrams below are from a great book ‘Cabaret Mechanical Movement’ by Aidan […]

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I’ve always loved dragons so I’m going to have a go at making an automata of a dragon flying. I got most of my inspiration from an automata made by a guy called Keith Newstead: I love the smooth motion! I think I’ve worked out that it’s made from a crank to describe the elliptical […]

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Right, like linkages drive mechanisms (the collective term for pulley and gear systems) connect other mechanisms together but this time using rotary motion. This may also involve gearing or changing the angle or direction of the motion. There are two types of drives: positive and friction. Gears fall into the positive category as they are […]

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Now we’re getting into the details… So, ready for more mathsy goodness? There are three important formulas to remember when dealing with mechanisms… Mechanical Advantage This is basically a comparison of the effort put in to the load moved, this leverage is the ration of the distances of the effort and load to the fulcrum. […]

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Turning motions are really easy to understand, take this set of scales: The right hand side is turnign clockwise and the left hand side is turning anti clockwise. To balance the scales or bring them into equilibrium the clockwise turning motion has to balance the anticlockwise motion. To work this out you need to use […]

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Almost all machines will, somewhere, use at least one lever. A lever is a very simple device it’s basically a rigid bar that pivots on a fixed point. In Archimedes’ book called ‘On the Equilibrium of Planes’ he wrote out the ‘Law of the Lever’. He wrote that a lever is used to convert a small effort […]

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After doing a bit of research I’ve found that there are only 5 basic mechanisms! The Inclided Plane The Wedge The Screw The Lever The Wheel On a closer look you can reduce this list to just two basic mechanisms, a wedge is like an inclined plane, or two joined together and a screw is […]

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When working with mechanisms there are 6 main types of motion Irregular This is motion with no discernible pattern, you can get this effect using an irregular cam and follower. Intermittent This describes motion that starts and stops regularly, like a Geneva stop mechanism. Linear This is simply motion in a straight line, like a […]