Sun 2nd Aug 2015

Here's another project I designed for the Brother International website. It is free for everyone to download and make.

Make the mechanism and find out first-hand how gears work. Why not mash up the Gear Mechanism with the Paper Girl project, another free download from the Brother site.

Gear Mechanisms || Paper Girl

Check out the YouTube clip showing the mash up in action!

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Fri 31st Jul 2015

Some time back I was asked for permission to use one of my designs in some promotional material. Today a package arrived for the US revealing the results.

The book House of Robots looks like great fun and has rave reviews on goodreads.com

This special edition - exclusive to Target, the US store, has a free build your own robot within the pages. That's where my design comes in.

The fold out sheet has all the parts you need...

...to make this robot.


And here it is in action!
Thanks for sending me the samples Florence, they look great!

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Thu 30th Jul 2015

One of the problems with download/printout models is alignment. In models where parts need to be lined up accurately on the front and back of a sheet normal printing just isn't up to the job. You may have noticed my latest attempt to get round this problem in the recent Hen Pecked model.

In this design there is a cross piece at the back of the hen that needs to be accurately positioned. I've placed the glue areas on a hinged piece.

The hinged piece folds over and glues down onto the back of the body piece positioning the glue areas accurately.

The side is completed by trimming of the cross hatched piece.

Ta daa!

Here's the cross piece, accurately positioned in the final model.
It's all about the incremental improvements :-)

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New project for everyone to download from the Brother Int. Creative Center.

This interchangeable cam-in-a-box makes a great starting point for your own paper automata.

For example, with a couple of simple modifications you can bring the T.Rex to life.

Cam || T.Rex

Check out the YouTube clip!

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Download Hen Pecked
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Turn the handle on the Hen Pecked paper animation kit and the hen tries unsuccessfully to peck the worm. Meanwhile the worm tries unsuccessfully to get some fresh air but keeps having to dodge out of the way of the voracious hen. I'm sure it is an allegory for something.
All the parts for the model are included in the download, you just need to print them out onto four sheets of thin card and you can make your very own allegorical automaton!

Check out the YouTube clip here:

Members can download the parts for free from the link, Patreon patrons will receive the file in their patreon feed. Thanks for signing up! Non members can join in the fun for £2.50. Print the parts onto thin card (230 gsm / 67lb) The model includes both a coloured and an uncoloured version. For the coloured version each sheet has a front and back. Print the front onto the card, flip the sheet over and return it to the printer to print the back.

Score the dotted and dashed lines and cut out the holes before carefully cutting out the pieces.

Roll up and glue down the three axle pieces lining up the edge with the point of the arrows.

Fold over and glue down the crank ends to make double thickness card. Once the glue is dry carefully cut out the hole and the pieces.

Glue together the push rod. Thread the crank ends onto one of the short axle tubes and glue them to the push rod

Assemble the two crank pieces.

Glue the crank pieces to the axle as shown.

Assemble the handle in three steps.

Fold round and glue the tabs on the box top and base making right angled triangles.

Assemble the bell crank stand and glue it to the underside of the box top between the two grey areas.

Fold round and glue the tabs on the two box ends making equilateral triangle tubes.

Glue the box end with the holes to the box top. Note the arrangement in the picture.

Glue in the other box end and the box base.

Glue the sides into position.

Fold in the tabs as shown. Note that the tabs next to the holes tuck under so that they don't obstruct the holes.

Assemble the worm hole and fit it into position.

Assemble the worm as shown.

Curve round the worm base and glue it into position as shown.

Thread the worm up through the worm hole, this picture shows the box inverted.

Glue the eyes to the worm head.

Assemble the bell crank.

Glue the bell crank to the bell crank support as shown.

Fit the assembled crank into the box, slide the push rod to one side and let the worm base rest on the other side. Fit the axle tubes into place with the longer tube to the right.

Glue the tab to join the push rod to the bell crank.

Glue the handle to the longer axle tube.

Making the Hen.

Assemble the three parts of the head.

Fold over and glue down the comb then carefully cut out the double thickness card.

Glue the comb to the centre of the head.

Fold the flap on the hen-side round and glue it down. Once the glue has dried cut off the cross hatched section.

Glue the front of the hen into place aligning the top edges.

Glue in the hen top.

Fold round and glue together the leg stand then glue it into place inside the body lining up the edge with the edge of the body.

Glue together the legs and glue them into place on the leg stand.

Glue the leg stop to the grey areas inside the body.

Fold up and glue one knee just short of a right angle.

Overlap the feet and glue them together.

Glue up the second knee.

Glue on the head.

Glue the hen to the box so that the beak is over the worm when the hen is rocked downwards.

Connect the bell crank to the leg stop with the strap.

Turn the handle and watch the circle of life in action!

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Sat 18th Jul 2015

If you have been following the recent comments on the website you will have seen that user
has been working a Doughnut model. He's applying for a vacancy at a doughnut shop in Denver and decided to get creative with his resume.

He's made up a paper doughnut from here then created a box for it matching the style for the Doughnut Outlet in question.

He's then boxed up the doughnut with his resume and delivered them to the store where he says that the reaction was delight and surprise. I'm not surprised!

Good luck with the application Sean and thanks very much for sending the pictures through!

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Wed 15th Jul 2015

Friend of the website Jay and I have been chatting on Google+

He's been working with his students making paper models from the website, encouraging them to mash up existing models and create new designs. It sounds like they have had a fantastic time. I was particually delighted with the models produced by student Uriya including a mash-up of the cam box and the guard dog as well as some models from the Brother website which he had made at home. Thanks Jay and Uriya! They look great!

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Tue 14th Jul 2015

Have a look at the Pop Up DInosaur, a simple to make card that I have designed for the Brother International Creative Center.

It is free for everyone to download here. I hope you enjoy making it!


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Mon 13th Jul 2015

Prototype for a worm/hen model. I veered off from my original plan to try this model.

The circle of life continues as the hen tries to catch the worm and the worm dodges out of the way... just in time.

I put together this quick stop motion animation of the prototype in action.


From the side you can see how the hen is driven via a bell crank. Because the push rod linking to the bell crank is moving horizontally it moves 90° ahead of the movement of the worm giving the chase/retreat movement which adds to the charm of the action. Looking good so far but there is a fair amount of work needed to sort out the geometry. Not bad for a first draft though don't ya think?

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Sat 11th Jul 2015

This tweet popped up in my twitter feed...

...and so off to YouTube I rushed. Thanks to Mr Wilks for sharing his delightful timelapse of the construction of a PhoneHorn! Check it out!

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