Date   
Re: Happy New Year

Gus
 

Wish you the same Mike,

Gus

Re: Cycle speed and realism

Gus
 

It depends on many factors, doesn't it ?
How good is the element being manipulated, eg a head turn mechanics high tolerance, or sloppy ? Does it jerk because the mechanics aren't well machined/sanded/lubricated ? Unless that is what is wanted of course. Irrespective whether a fast or slow turn is wanted, the execution is crucial, otherwise it fails. Are multiple movements taking place, each one a different speed, as one would expect, eg a waving arm can imply something simply by how fast or slow it moves, and the same figure turning from the waist in conjunction might execute that quite fast, presenting a complete emotion. 
My approach is focused around the story I want to tell, without using words. I don't decide at the beginning how fast or slow it needs to be, that develops as the work progresses.  Often reworking cams, gears etc if it seems the story has no flow, fails to engage, or, as you put it, “Yawn”.
Good expression that ! 
The element of surprise is what I seek. Be that  fast or slow, matters not much to me.

Gus

Re: Cycle speed and realism

 

This is an interesting question that at least to me involves some pretty complicated stuff.
First, let me say "To each h/her own".  
Here is how I do it for my own automata:
  • I know that I want both a hand crank and a motor.
  • I consider a comfortable crank speed to be approx 50-60 rpm.  Note that I am defining the crank speed by operator comfort.
    • Thus I use gear motors that are 50 rpm.
  • The speed of the automata action is very important.  Prior to creating my drive components I visualize how fast I think things should go.  I focus pretty carefully on this.  It's important.  
  • I believe that 'slower' is desirable more often than 'faster'. Not too slow is the trick.
  • I then create the drivetrain to meet the requirements of both ends.
    • The automata that I am creating right now needs three speeds:
      • 50 rpm for crank/motor input
      • 150 rpm for pulsing
        • I accomplish this by having three nodes on the 50 rpm shaft.
      • 1 rpm for driving the CamPak.
        • I accomplish this with a reduction train of pulleys and poly belting.  It's very smooth and quiet (and powerful).
Bottom line...the speed of things is very critical and important.  Wrong speeds make an automata not credible.  Correct speeds make it delightful and a pleasure to operate/watch.

I look forward to reading other comments.  Good question.

Cheers
-Jim Coffee-
one of the Automata Group Moderators
I create automata near San Diego, California



On Wed, 1 Jan 2020 at 14:21, V Bass <vrbass@...> wrote:
Over the years, I've seen a lot of automata and videos of automata and a thought has been slowly forming about what makes a piece interesting and engaging. And it comes down to speed.

To my eye, an automaton engages the viewer when the movement seems natural, and a lot of the appearance of naturalness depends upon timing. Imagine we're looking at an automaton with a couple of kids on a seesaw. The cycle time of this piece is 10 seconds - it takes five seconds for one end to rise, five more to go back down. Visualize that by moving your hands up and down and counting five seconds up, five down. 

Yawn. Have you ever seen a couple of kids go at that pace? Picture it in your mind and figure how long you think real pair of kids would take - 3 seconds for calm kids, 1 for hyperactive kids?

How can we control this? Thinking out loud here, you'd have to work from the final movement backwards, looking at cam profiles, lever ratios, gear train ratios, input (crank/motor) speed, adjusting all accordingly. It's a complicated chain of actions, but if the design doesn't take the end movement speed into account, it can end up looking like the whole mechanism has been soaking in syrup when it operates.

Oddly, I can't recall seeing an automaton that seemed unrealistic because the movements were exageratedly too fast.

What are your processes for getting realistic movement speeds in your pieces? Do you work backwards as above, forwards from the desired crank or motor speed, or set the two end speeds and make the middle bits fit?

Re: Cycle speed and realism

Paul E Giles Jr
 

I'm a both ends towards the middle guy. I exclusively use cranks because I love to watch the grandkids work the device. Kids being kids I immediately reduce the shaft speed because their excitement means lots of rpm's. I also try to use a couple of elements and that means different speeds. And yes, I often slow down the speed only to increase it later for an object. 

Cycle speed and realism

V Bass
 

Over the years, I've seen a lot of automata and videos of automata and a thought has been slowly forming about what makes a piece interesting and engaging. And it comes down to speed.

To my eye, an automaton engages the viewer when the movement seems natural, and a lot of the appearance of naturalness depends upon timing. Imagine we're looking at an automaton with a couple of kids on a seesaw. The cycle time of this piece is 10 seconds - it takes five seconds for one end to rise, five more to go back down. Visualize that by moving your hands up and down and counting five seconds up, five down. 

Yawn. Have you ever seen a couple of kids go at that pace? Picture it in your mind and figure how long you think real pair of kids would take - 3 seconds for calm kids, 1 for hyperactive kids?

How can we control this? Thinking out loud here, you'd have to work from the final movement backwards, looking at cam profiles, lever ratios, gear train ratios, input (crank/motor) speed, adjusting all accordingly. It's a complicated chain of actions, but if the design doesn't take the end movement speed into account, it can end up looking like the whole mechanism has been soaking in syrup when it operates.

Oddly, I can't recall seeing an automaton that seemed unrealistic because the movements were exageratedly too fast.

What are your processes for getting realistic movement speeds in your pieces? Do you work backwards as above, forwards from the desired crank or motor speed, or set the two end speeds and make the middle bits fit?

Re: Happy New Year

Mario Núñez
 

Happy New Year one and all!

Mario

Re: Happy New Year

 

Thanks Mike...
Yes...Happy New Year to all.
Thanks for participating in this forum...thanks for your creativity and efforts.
A new Automata Magazine is due tomorrow.  Looking forward to it!
Cheers
-Jim Coffee

On Tue, 31 Dec 2019 at 08:58, Mike <smc5910@...> wrote:
I hope all of your 2020's are filled with lots of great automata!


Mike

Wooden Curiosities

Happy New Year

Mike
 

I hope all of your 2020's are filled with lots of great automata!


Mike

Wooden Curiosities

Re: Mixing Media Within the Mechanics

Mike
 

Yes, thanks everyone. :)
--
Looking forward to hearing about your automata adventures!


Mike

Wooden Curiosities

Re: What's On My Bench - Colorado Christmas

Mike
 

The "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" automata was quite popular. I got orders for four more. :)

It's good for the ego but bad for creativity. I find it hard to replicate pieces as it doesn't hold my interest as well.
--
Looking forward to hearing about your automata adventures!


Mike

Wooden Curiosities

Re: What's On My Bench - Colorado Christmas

 

I forgot to mention the music box...another nice and appropriate detail.
--
-Jim Coffee-
creating automata near San Diego, California
one of the group moderators
JamesCoffee.com

Re: What's On My Bench - Colorado Christmas

 

Hi Mike...
Delightful.  Many good things here.  A couple of my impressions:
  • The white background is perfect.  Not overstated...but certainly there.
  • The Santa and reindeer paint job is really good.  You look at them and don't even think about the finish.  You just see Santa and a sleigh and reindeer.
  • I like your drive unit.  I find the cams and wooden gears fascinating to watch.
  • The thing that I like the most about this automata are the little snowmen.  You did not need to put anything down there...but you put snowmen. Perfect!
Thanks for sharing the video.
Happy Holidays
-Jim Coffee-


On Sun, 22 Dec 2019 at 12:37, Mike <smc5910@...> wrote:
Here's a video of the automata in action:
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
--
Hope you enjoy it and have a very merry Christmas. :)


Mike

Wooden Curiosities

Re: What's On My Bench - Colorado Christmas

Gus
 

Hi Mike,

Very nice job ! Lots of movement, fun thing to see, you must be very happy with how it turned out.

Regards,
Gus

Re: Mixing Media Within the Mechanics

Mario Núñez
 

This topic, like some of the others, is like a crash course in automata.  Thanks, all.

Mario

Re: What's On My Bench - Colorado Christmas

Mike
 

Here's a video of the automata in action:
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
--
Hope you enjoy it and have a very merry Christmas. :)


Mike

Wooden Curiosities

Re: What Was on the Bench

 

Thanks Gus...
I would have never guessed mdf.  Acrylic would not have surprised me.
Excellent job.  A good finish makes a huge difference.
Cheers
-Jim-

On Sat, 21 Dec 2019 at 22:45, Gus <klekner@...> wrote:
Hi Jim,

I replied to your question, somehow it didn't appear, or, likely, I simply missed the Reply button. Geez, it's not even post the Christmas
indulgence......

The material is 9mm MDF (medium density fibreboard), I think you might know it as Customwood. Two coats of automotive primer, sand between and after, top coat is gloss enamel, five coats, sanding between.

All the best for the holidays !

Cheers,
Gus

Re: What's on my bench: Progress, and a mess

Gus
 

Jim,
Your work is high quality, precise, great attention to detail.

Regards,
Gus

Re: What Was on the Bench

Gus
 

Hi Jim,

I replied to your question, somehow it didn't appear, or, likely, I simply missed the Reply button. Geez, it's not even post the Christmas
indulgence......

The material is 9mm MDF (medium density fibreboard), I think you might know it as Customwood. Two coats of automotive primer, sand between and after, top coat is gloss enamel, five coats, sanding between.

All the best for the holidays !

Cheers,
Gus

Re: What Was on the Bench

Gus
 

Thanks very much Mike !

Happy Holidays to you and yours,

Gus

Re: Mixing Media Within the Mechanics

Gus
 

Hi Mike,
Purely based on experience,

Pros,
Tubes and rectangular sections telescope,  sliding elements can move with good precision, rotate also
Load bearing movements can be handled with much smaller sizes than wood
Looks good in conjunction with darker timbers especially
Can be precision machined
Does not loosen/tighten up with "normal" temperature fluctuations
Annealing makes it easy to form

Cons,
Expensive
Lubrication neccessary for moving /sliding parts
Oxidises
Good soldering skills are needed, sloppy work shows  :-(

Plastic,
Pros,
Easily machined
Available in "lubricant" grade
Good for wheels, pulleys

Cons,
Doesn't look  good 

Regards,
Gus