Simple Machines: Cardboard Mechanical Automata/Karakuri

by ZombieCat, published

Simple Machines: Cardboard Mechanical Automata/Karakuri by ZombieCat Sep 29, 2012


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This is the source file for making mechanical boxes out of cardboard and wood.
This project was designed as a teaching tool to teach children basic building techniques, introduce them to simple machines, and give them the opportunity to build their own Automata or Karakuri device that they can take home. These boxes have been used with children ages 3-13. The pictures are the output of 6th grade students building boxes in 45 minutes. Here's a video of their output http://vimeo.com/50900381

If you are a teacher and interested in doing this project in your class room, e-mail me.


The boxes are designed to be laser cut out of a thick cardboard (recycled bicycle boxes work best) while the gears, cam or crank is best cut out of wood. This is designed to work with at 3/8" dowel but you might want to confirm your dowel size (you want it to be snug) before cutting the wood parts.
To make these boxes, you must first score the cardboard folds using the tab labelled: First Cut
Then cut through the cardboard using the tab labelled: Second Cut
The tab labelled Wood Parts has the parts needed for the crank, gears and cam. This has been cut in 5mm plywood.

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Do I need to be using a PC? I can't open the files and I have a Mac.

I'd love to learn more so I can try this with my 5th graders! The post said I could email you but I can't find how to do that. Thanks for any help!
Jill Jensen