Friday, 28 December 2012

Pinwheels in Inkscape

My new model involves making pinwheel gears. I used to do this in Illustrator and used the tutorial on the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre website for this. However, I no longer have this software and instead went for the Open Source alternative of Inkscape. I had trouble working out how to make the pinwheels at first but now have a method. I thought I'd create a PDF and provide a download link for those who are interested in it:

One of the nice things about making automata is that the materials do not necessarily have to be expensive. I'd find it hard to justify spending hundreds of pounds on a piece of software to assist with the design process, so I use a free alternative. 

Of course, another alternative would be to just use a protractor, ruler and a compass but I always find my accuracy slightly off with this method. 

I hope this helps. If you have any queries, please comment/contact me.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Post seasons greetings

Hello and seasons greetings to you all. Just thought I'd give a quick update following Christmas.

I've started working on my next model which I will make in time for Valentine's day (hopefully). I've made the frame and am going to incorporate a pin wheel gear, as I 'm fed up with work gears. Besides, pin wheel gears can be tricky to make accurately so there's a challenge there in itself. Pics to follow soon. 

I have also been shopping on line and have bought a few new goodies, such as a block plane, a drill press stand and a drill holder so I can turn my drill into a lathe of sorts. This should allow me to do more interesting things and hopefully with a bit more accuracy. 

I might also be getting a workshop in the new year! Good times!

Anyway, back to the model.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Ta da!

For your pleasure and amusement (hopefully), here is a video of my latest automaton, "Cruel Santa":

I hope you forgive the poor quality and editing. 

Also, Santa has extra short legs because I believe every cruel tyrant should be mocked in some way to make them less scary and deny them the power of fear over their subjects. 

I also didn't give them any eyes as I was concerned I would mess them up and ruin the whole piece. 

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

A Christmas miracle!

Well, not really a miracle and more like a bit of hard work but the model is finished. I'll be creating, editing and uploading a vid tomorrow. Then onto eBay. In the meantime, here is a picture of the cams I used.