An Interesting Mechanism

Tue, 18 Feb 2014

You can see the model in action on Instagram here

Here’s a fun little mechanism inspired by this model by master automata maker Paul Spooner.
Starting with a disk connected to a rod, I’ve added four stops evenly spaced around the rim.

The disk then matches up with a stop fitted to the box top. The disk is free to turn in a loose fitting guide tube.

Here’s the clever bit. There’s a drive cam fitted to the drive shaft in the box. The flat surface one one side of the cam allows the disk to drop down a fraction releasing it from the stop in the box top. It is then free to turn but only by quarter of a turn.

The lid is half a millimetre smaller than the box so drops into place with a snug fit.

For each turn of the handle the vertical shaft turns quarter of a turn. Clever stuff!

I’ve added this large arrow for clarity but a whole variety of characters could be driven by this mechanism. What about an owl with rotating head or a watchdog looking round and round? I’ll be releasing the mechanism on its own shortly then adding my own character to make it into a complete model. Betcha can’t wait!

If anyone knows the name of this mechanism I’d be interested to hear, please leave a comment and let us know.

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Comments (5)

  • allyplays February 19, 2014 at 2:34 am

    Can you make a template to

    Can you make a template to print out for this model? or are you going to make a real project like adding a character or something like that? ( if you are, I have a idea where you could put this on its side, place a stack of fortune cards on top like "yes" or "no" so when you turn the crank, it drops a card onto a chute which goes through the slit on the end of the chute. Thanks for reading this whole explanation 🙂

    • robives February 19, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      I’ll be making this project
      I’ll be making this project to download and making a character based model from it as well. It’ll be a couple of days though as I’m away until Friday.

  • Shelley February 19, 2014 at 4:42 am

    It’s called… FABULOUS!!

    It’s called… FABULOUS!!

    I’m loving how you are making mechs so we all can design our own models!

  • michael42er February 19, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    I can imagine that this new
    I can imagine that this new mechanism may certainly be used for a variety of new models as a drive module.
    Very nicely also the reduction here 4:1

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