Another Halloween treat for everyone to download for free. I designed this cauldron candy box for Brother International and they have just uploaded it to their website. Check it out here!

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Here's a little Halloween treat for everyone to download for free. Brother International have just added the pumpkin candy box that I have designed for them to their website. Check it out here! Candy not included!

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If you've been following my Instagram feed you'll have seen this character already. With halloween approaching fast I thought it was time to bring him to life.

My plan is to animatate Frankie by connecting him to a vertical rotating shaft on a Mesh Gear box then, using a horizontal cam profile on the box top, I plan to make his arms move up and down as he turns round. He actually looks pretty good just turning without any arm movements but the moving arms will hopefully add an extra dimension.

Keep checking back to see how he is progressing!

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Tue 22nd Sep 2015

Friend of the website José sent in a video of the Mushroom Mashup that he created.

Bellows   Mushroom

Thanks for sending it in José, I love the video!

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Mr Cool has been at it again! He has taken the Mesh Gear 11:23 and a seal model from Annabelle Curtis' book 'The Moving Menagerie' ...

Mesh Gear 11:23   Rocking Seal

...and made this rather splendid playful seal automata. Thanks for sharing Mr Cool!

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Download Triceratops
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A cute poseable Triceratops to download and make. This papercraft project has movable legs and a poseable head. The neck joint is particularly interesting, featuring, as it does, a two axis two link joint for maximum head flexibility!

Members and patrons can download the model for free from the appropriate place - thanks for your support! Non-members can join in the fun for £2.50.

Download the parts file and print out the pages onto thin card (230gsm / 67lb) Note that there are three different colour variants and an uncoloured version for you to choose from. The model uses four sheets of card, the fifth page needs to be printed onto the back of the forth sheet. Flip sheet four over and return it to the printer then print the back of sheet four.

Score along the dotted & dashed lines and cut the solid black lines before carefully cutting out the pieces.

Some of the parts in the model are made from double thickness card. This gives them extra stiffness and makes it easy to add colour to both sides of a piece.

Start by making the legs from double thickness card. Lift out the two small tabs so that they don't get glued down then fold over the card and glue it down to make double thickness.

Once the glue is dry carefully cut out the legs.

Make the horns from double thickness card, make sure that you don't glue the tabs at the base of the horns together.

Fold over the four large rectangular flaps on neck piece and glue them down to make double thickness card.

Once the glue is dry, cut out the holes and trim the long tabs to the profile of the neck pieces.

Roll the neck round and glue it as shown.

Each corner of the neck is assembled in the same way. Thread the slotted washer up through the hole and flatten the tabs out.

Glue a washer onto the two tabs. Don't get glue on the neck itself, the washer must be free to turn.

Glue a second washer onto the other side of the slotted washer. Again, making sure that the circle is free to turn.

Repeat this process on all four ends.

The two axles are assembled the same way as each other.

Roll up and glue down the axle tube lining up the end of the tube with the points of the arrows as accurately as possible

Start by lining up the edge of the outer tube with the arrow points as show. Roll it round the axle and glue it down on itself. Make sure no glue gets on the axle, The axle outer is a tight fit round the axle but should be free to move. Friction holds the outer axle tube into position.

Glue the the two end stops into position. These parts are glued to the axle - they don't move, they are there to keep the axle outer in place.

Dot a blob of glue into the centre of the two inner washers at one end of the neck and glue the neck to the outer axle.

Repeat the same at the other end. Once the glue is dry the the axles should be free to rotate in two axis.

Fold over and glue down the neck link pieces making double thickness card with a single thickness tab.

Glue the two neck links to one end of the neck as shown. Make sure that they are square with each other by placing them on a flat surface as in the picture.

Curve round and make the head top.

Glue in the two darts on the frill then glue the frill to the head.

Make the lower jaw.

Glue the lower jaw into the head.

The free end of the neck fits into the head with the axle axis running top of bottom.

Apply glue to the neck axle tabs tabs and thread the piece into the head. Hold the head into position as the glue dries.

There are two small alignment tabs on the body sides. Fold them over and glue them down.

Thread the two rear legs into position and lock them into place with a cover piece. The leg should be free to swing back and forth.

Fold round and glue down the tab on the body inner to make a triangular tube. This gives rigidity to the body inner.

Glue the body inner into place between the small arrow on the alignment tab and the small arrow at the top of the body. The cut-out in the body inner will allow the legs to move freely.

Fit the other body side to the body inner.

Fit the body top into position starting at the tail end.

Start by lining up the tabs on the body top with the tabs on the body sides so that they touch each other. Glue the body top tabs into place and glue the tail ends together.

Work your way along the body gluing down a few tabs at a time.

Fit the front legs into place with the tabs and cover pieces so that the are free to move.

Glue the tabs on the neck links to the front edge of the body

Glue on the three horns and the eyes to complete the model!

The finished triceratops ready to grace any desktop or mantelpiece!

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While I was working on the final layout of the Triceratops model the final prototype was sitting on the desk next to me. I kept picking it up and playing with it, looking at how the various joints worked. In the end I just wasn't satisfied with how the head moved. It just didn't have enough range of movement. I stopped the layout/colour process and went back to the prototype to see how it could be improved.

Here's what I came up with. Click on the image here to see an Instagram video of the improved neck joint in action.

The original model had the neck fixed to the body then a two axis joint inside the head . The new version has a second two axis joint inside the body. It makes the head much more flexible and, I think, it is a big improvement to the final model. Here is the new two link, two axis neck piece.

...and here it is fitted into the body.

The new joint gives a much wider range of movement and makes the Triceratops far more poseable.

So, part layouts to redo then the colour. Won't be long now.

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I've completed the parts design for the poseable Triceratops model. Colour next then I'll be posting it on the website.

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Download Lolly
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Here's a simple, but fun paper project for you to download and make.

As always, members can download the parts file for free at the link. Non-members can join in the fun for £2.00

Start by printing out the parts. The first sheet makes the lolly and is printed onto thin card (230gsm/67lb)

The second sheet makes the wrapper. Print it onto normal photocopier paper. 80gsm

Score along the dotted and dashed lines, cut out the holes then carefully cut out the parts.

Assemble the two parts of the lolly stick

Fit the lolly stick into the support piece and line it up with the first grey line.

Thread the lolly stick through the hole in the lolly base and line it up with the second grey line. Glue it into position.

Glue the support down inside the lolly

Fold round the sides and glue them down.

Glue the end flap and tab together lining them up as accurately as possible.

Glue down the remaining tabs to complete the lolly.

Ta daa!

Pre-crease along the dotted line on the wrapper.
Roll the wrapper round and glue the two edges together as shown.

Pinch up the end and glue it down so that the seam runs along the centre of the wrapper.

Thread the lolly into the wrapper.

Glue down the other end.

Your completed lolly in its wrapper. I think you'll agree that it looks Fab!

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Back to the Triceratops! With the aid of a small plastic reference model I've been working on the shape of the body. I've put together two sides from a sketched out shape.

The three spacers are all squares - different size squares obviously. They hold the body into roughly the right profile. I'll work on a top piece after I've put together the digital version.

With the body profile roughed out it's time to fit the head. The neck glues onto the body allowing the head to be poseable. I'll probably make the legs movable as well though these ones in the prototype are just glued on.

Next step will be to scan the body parts and put together a digital version of the body. I'm planning on scaling the body up in size by 10% to get the overall proportions looking right. Looking good so far!

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