Week 4: More Mechanisms


We will review our mechanism prototypes, discuss next steps, problems, materials, tools, and design.  Also, we will explore more amazing mechanical assemblies.


This weekend I got to see Arthur Ganson’s (one of my favorites) work in real life at the MIT Museum.

Cory’s Yellow Chair
Machine with Roller Chain
Machine with 23 Scraps of Paper
Margot’s Cat

More videos


Review of our Mechanism Prototypes

What do we have so far?  Where do we want to be in a week?  What is holding us up?  Do we have questions on materials?  Are there tools or techniques that can get us further along?

We can schedule some time on the Othermill, CNC, 4 axis, and metal lathe if we think this will help.


Combining Mechanisms

Simple Mechanisms can get complicated fast when putting them together.

Crank and pulleys and belt

Simple Mechanisms can get complicated fast.


Slider Crank with Satellite Pulley


Omni—Wheel Based Driving Device with Belt Transmission Mechanism

Indexing Mechanisms

Geneva Mechanism

3 Gaps Geneva

Rim and Pins


Lining Up Mechanism




Spacial Geneva Mechanism


Mechanism For Drawing Circle


Scissor Mechanism


Controlling Rotation Around a Point


Mangle Wheel-Pinion Reciprocating Mechanism


Wobbling Disk


Star Wheel Index Mechanism


Chain Self Centering Gripper


Sphere Rotating Around Two Perpendicular Axes


Friction Sphere Variator


Cable Drive


Lateral Motion Mechanism


Whitworth Quick Return Mechansim



Another reminder of potentially helpful hardware.


Idler Shaft are great for securing pulleys, bearings, wheels, and individual cams.



Tight Tolerance Shoulder Screw are great for securing pulleys, bushings, bearings, and individual cams.


Prime-Line Products D 1503 Steel Ball Bearing Sliding Door Roller, 1-1/2-Inch, 2-Pack and 1-1/2 Inch Steel Rollers can be used with o-rings, belts, and rubber bands.  The 1/4″ bore can be used with all of the 1/4″ hardware you have been provided.

Lubrication – WD-40, 3 in 1 oil.  If it needs to move, it probably needs lubrication.


Loctite Red 271.  If it needs to stay put, a little Loctite will probably help.


Standoffs, using standoffs makes breadboarding mechanisms easier.


Spacers, are a great way to get elements into proper position.



Your two week Building a mechanism project will be due.  You will complete a robust, functioning mechanism


Related Reading/Viewing

Wheel Testing

Lifters Testing

Test Run of Tiny Wheel

Test Run for Wheel Ball Lifter

Test of Marble Machine

Stairs Lifter

Test of First Slope

Twin Linkage Lifter 

Tree and Funneling Test

Instruction of Wire Work