Mechanical Animals

by sconine, published

Mechanical Animals by sconine Oct 12, 2011

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These are 3 different machanical animals. They are all pretty basic mechanical devices that turn rotary motion into more of a linear motion. My kids (and their friends) have gotten a real kick out of them. I drew them all in sketchup.

Jumping Prairie Dog Turn the crank and make the prairie dog jump up and down.

Diving Dolphin Turn the crank and watch the dolphin dive through the waves.

Wood Pecker Turn the crank and see the wood pecker peck away. (This was originally posted as a pecking bird, but my kids all call it the woodpecker, so I'm putting it up as part of this collection).


Hopefully it is fairly obvious how these go together. I print the washers on a raft because the flat surface it creates is nice and helps the various axles seat firmly. Pretty much everything else is printed raftlessly.

Take a look at the other various things I've posted for tips on how I've configued my Makerbot for better raft/raftless printing if you're running a Makerbot.

The part all snap together very nicely for me with a little pressure. I've designed all the axles to be stronger by making them extend through the entire bases they stick out of, rather than just being stuck to the top layer by one interface of plastic. This helps things hold together and if you need to take apart parts that are pressure fit tightly together, you can without breaking things as often. This was a trick I learned when designing the train wheels on an earlier project.

If anything that is suppose to move it tight, you should sand/scrape a little excess plastic off it so that it glides smoothly. These all work very fast/smoothly for my when I turn the cranks.

One tip with printing larger things that I've found in-valuable for my TOM MK6 extruder: The thumbscrew that holds the plastic against the feeder has a tendancy to loosen after 30-40 minutes of running. A simple fix I've found is to put a couple c-clamps on it, or a small vice grips, so that it cannot turn. Make sure there is clearnace for when the z-axis goes up and down (the camps need to move with it). I'll try to remember to post a picture of my rig at some point.

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The pecking bird model doesn't slice with the latest version of Slicer and Repetier Host. The vertical part vanishes. :-(

I could not get the bird in the .zip file to print properly on my ToM: the Y axis started shifting after 3 layers. I ended up printing the bird from http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:11948http://www.thingiverse.com/thi..., which printed fine the first time.

Pecking Bird
by sconine

I can't find that square part that goes to upper hole in the dolphin - thing ? I have other parts printed and just noticed that when started assembling it.

The dolphin should fit on the top of the "Dolphin Pole" part. You might need to scrape a little plastic off the top of the pole if it is too tight.

Yes, I found that part. But how about that part that holds the Dolphin Pole part in place and attach it to Dolphin Stand ? It seems that Dolphin Washers don't include that part ?

Doh, yea I forgot to load up the file for the dolphin pivot I just loaded that sorry about that

Thanks a lot, now it works :)

Really great designs, I can't wait to print ALL of them - Thank you for posting. :)

Can you do a Bat that flaps for Halloween!

BTW, a bat doesn't seem that complicated to do. Its probably easily possible.

These are amazing! What a great way to teach your kids about different types of linear/ rotary linkages.

Could you bundle all the stl's in a zip file? THanks for sharing this great design.

May I point out that I have a script posted here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:11602http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

You can use this script to download all STLs posted to a thing.

The Thingiverse folks really need to add nice little REST APIs to do this.

Shell script to download all files for a thing

This is so cool. More please!

I love it! Could you post your Sketchup files so we can play with it?

Sure, might take me a few days. I need to clean them up a bit first.

I want to design a set that links together and all turns on a single crank in a chain.