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Intermittent Rotation Mechanism For Your Designs



An intermittent rotation mechanism for you to use in your own designs. Download and make the parts then add your own character.

Members can download the parts sheets from the link for free, non members can join in the fun for £2.50

Print out the parts onto thin card. Use coloured card or one of the pattern sheets from this website to make your model more colourful.

Score along all the dotted and dashed lines and cut out the holes before carefully cutting out the parts.

Start by putting together the base. Fold up the side tabs and glue them down to make right angle triangle tubes.

Fold the rest of the box and and glue it down.

Make up the drive plate from double thickness card glued together.

Glue on four of the assembled stops onto the grey areas.

Glue the fifth stop to the underside of the box so that it is roughly 5mm from the edge of the box and facing in the direction shown.

Glue together the three parts of the box then fold them round and assemble the box.

Roll up the two drive pins and glue then down accurately using the grey areas and arrows for alignment. Glue together the two drive shafts.

Slide the vertical pin into the vertical shaft with the end with the grey line toward the chevron end of the drive pin. Slide it into position so that it is between the two grey lines.

Fit the drive plate into position lining it up with the grey line and gluing down the tabs.

Fit the drive into the base. It should be a loose, easy fit.

Fit the box over the top and down onto the base.

Glue in the four tabs onto the inside wall of the box.

Assemble the horizontal drive cam.

Put together the handle.

Fit the horizontal shaft into place between the two holes in the box sides then push the pin through the the drive shaft and out the other side.

The drive shaft should look like this.

Complete the model by gluing the handle to the drive shaft.

You can fit the arrow if you like so that you can see the vertical shaft turning as you turn the handle. Over to you now to design your own character!

3 reviews for Intermittent Rotation

  • IN. Cred. I. BLE!!!! Rob,
    IN. Cred. I. BLE!!!! Rob, this is an answer to my fondest hopes. It’s like having the world’s absolute best paper engineer design my own models!


    Thanks Shelley, have fun designing your characters! – RI

    • Hello Rob,
      The drive plate

      Hello Rob,
      The drive plate has four missing grey areas.
      Not a deal – it’s an interesting mechanism.

      I checked mine and it has the grey areas where they should be, does anyone else have this problem? – RI

      It was my printer that did not catch those areas. My mechanism works, thanks.

  • i made kind of a silly model
    i made kind of a silly model using this model and the mi-ki-tiki family from the desktop gremlins site
    i atached paper pins to the eyes and mouths of the mi-ki-tiki’s so i could switch them all around and then added 4 faces to the mechanism so when you turn the handle the faces turn
    i posted a you tue video here

    • Hello Cool,
      That is a bright

      Hello Cool,

      That is a bright idea!

      For simplification/modification, do this: Get rid of all stops (or move two of them on sides below cam drive), and cut down 3/4th of perimeter of cam drive a few millimeter so only 1/4th of its edge touches (and pushes) the drive plate.

      The added stops on two sides will prevent the drive plate falling on the smaller r of your cam drive.

      If needed, add a coin for extra weight.

    • Hi Cool, you always have
      Hi Cool, you always have interesting ideas and implemented quickly. I see in the video that is in your room soon no room for new models.

  • I have built for the
    I have built for the “Friction wheel drive” some variants. All known models of Rob. The head of the “Mechanical Gentlemen” is provided by the idea of “P. Spooner” with four faces. For the model “Disagreeable Sheep” two half cams are used. This results in a left and right rotation. Video here:

    • Wow, what a joyful and artful
      Wow, what a joyful and artful collection ! It is simply fabulous. I really liked nodding sheep. It may go on Rob’s ‘Dog Ate My Homework’ model too.

      Two of the four gentlemen can have a different face-color, perhaps alternate faces.

      Many thanks for sharing your work with all of us.

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