Flip Face, Happy and Sad design

Thu, 19 Jan 2012

I really need to keep a scrap book. I mean, I stick things in my notebooks that I find interesting but what I really need is a systematic scrap booking system for all the bits and piece of interesting ephemera that I see, enjoy and promptly forget. The other I saw a picture of a little brass figurine with one of those rotating happy/sad optical illusion faces on the front. He had his hands out in front of him palm up and when you pressed down on the palms his face rotated. And for the life of me I can not remember where I saw it! I've been thinking about how it would work in paper on and off for a couple of days. There are a couple of interesting problems that might make for a fun project. So here's my first draft:

The face (which I drafted in Illustrator) is fixed to an axle centred between the eyes. Press one arm down and the head rotates 180° one way, press the other and it rotates back again.

The two main problems as I see them:

The head need to rotate exactly 180° them stop. Shouldn't be two hard with a suitably placed stop but I do need to make sure that is stays in place and doesn't 'bounce' back.

Secondly, the arms move only a short distance yet the head has to turn a full 180°. If I was using brass and steel I'd probably use a chain and sprocket.

This is where the interesting mechanism comes in. There are a few different things I could try. My first draft has the arms as a single unit pivoting about their middle. Connected to the arms and running over the head axle is a thin paper belt. As the arms move the belt turns the axle, rotating the face. I'm in the process of putting this together so I'll get back to you on how well it works.  

  To receive new blog posts by email

Comments (5)

  • Shelley Noble January 20, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Great model idea.
    About the

    Great model idea.


    About the idea/reference image scrapbook, I do it the hard way but it seems to work. I make screen grabs of everything that attracts and put them all into a desktop folder called "to print" then after a few hundred collect in there I use the sub app built into PS called "contact sheet" and it processes that folder in how ever many images per page I'd like. I print those out (usually about 2 x 3 inches in size to conserve expensive ink) and then I cut them all out, sort them by project/area of interest, and paste them down onto large sheets after they languish in labeled folders a while.

    Time consuming, hard on the hands, and endless as I'm constantly collecting the images. But it does work well in the end as I can see an analog hardcopy of everything that helps me to create.

    • Smelter January 21, 2012 at 10:12 am

      Sounds to me like someone

      Sounds to me like someone needs to get into digital scrapbooking.

      • robives January 21, 2012 at 10:38 am

        @rmgbi on twitter suggested

        @rmgbi on twitter suggested Evernote, and I do like Shelley's suggestion of a physical scrapbook. Any other suggestions for digital scrapbook?

        • umehta January 22, 2012 at 2:43 am

          I have a suggestion for flip

          I have a suggestion for flip face project – now I know it is totally against the paper law, but what if you use magnet in your mechanism to catch the remaining 90 degree travel?

        • wampler.james February 1, 2012 at 5:54 pm

          Have you considered OneNote?

          Have you considered OneNote? It is made for compiling projects. It also syncs to a folder online so your work is accessible anywhere, even if you happen to leave your home computer, laptop or phone somewhere else.

          Thanks, I’ll have a look. – RI

Comments are closed.