For my Mechanisms final I am working with Gabriela Gutierrez and we have been working on constructing a timing-belt driven mechanical automaton circus inspired by Alex Calder and also the “Welcome to Duloc” information box in the movie Shrek.
Ideally we would like to include as many circus acts as we can, triggered by the passing by of our “audience” which will ride around on the timing belt. These circus acts will either be powered through mechanisms off of the belt, or otherwise will be triggered
So far, we have completed laser cutting/construction of the timing belt pulleys, acquired the actual timing belt, and have begun modeling/prototyping our actual circus acts. We have so far decided that for our acts we would like to include:
- A man shot out of a cannon
- A lion tamer
- An elephant doing tricks (riding a ball or stepping onto a platform)
- A clown riding a tricycle on a tightrope
- a Trapezee
Our first priority is to get our timing belt in working order. We have become a bit ambitious about it, and wish for it to be on multiple levels…which introduces further complications for belt alignment. The sooner we get our timing belt in order (ideally at the latest by this Sunday) the sooner we can interface with it. Also of high priority is designing as separate systems all of our circus acts. So far we have designed the lion tamer and the man shot out of the cannon out of foamcore, which will allow us to create vector plans in order to laser cut the parts to recreate them in masonite. I believe that we are planning to have all of our mechanisms at least designed by the end of class on Monday. This allows us the option of discussing the most efficient mechanisms for the desired movement.
All we need to do following design of the mechanisms is construct them, and interface them with the overall timing belt. With this step complete by the end of Wednesday, it leaves us the remaining time to add any additional thematic elements (a sky tent / other non-moving exhibits etc) and for triple checking both our wiring and ensure that all of the exhibits turn on at the right times.
So, we should have a finished functional mechanical circus by the middle of next weekend… ideally.
Images to follow soon (including the scanned overall plan).