Contraptions with facial elements


One of the reasons I ordered a Glowforge was to have a tool to create odd, mechanical contraptions. The idea is to design a series of toys (for all ages) that use gears and other basic mechanics for simple movement. I want them to be kits that the purchaser will assemble themselves so they will have a more intimate understanding of how all the moving pieces effect one another.

I’ve been stalling posting about these because I wanted to prototype them, work out some of the problems and generally have more to show. However, as time has drawn on without a laser I’ve lost a bit (okay, a lot) of focus. Now that we are getting closer, though, I think it’s time to get cracking again and I was hoping to get some initial impressions of the ideas and any recommendations on how to continue to develop and refine them.

So here are two ideas for now. I apologize for the instagrammy nature of the photos.

The first one is a face that has a wheel in the back. When you spin the wheel the eyes look from side to side, the mouth and eyelids open and close and, if I can get it working, the eye brows dance around. It all works off of one disk with tracks and following pegs which make their conjoined elements move. Some of the tracks definitely need some more tweaking to make them smoother.

Here’s what the layers look like, in case that helps to understand it better:

I was going to try to explain the second idea, but this post is already too wordy so I think I’ll just show a picture of my screen and see if anyone can guess what it’s hopefully going to be. Have fun!

Weekly Highlights for the Week Ending April 22nd, 2017

When I grow up I hope to be able to do things like that. :grin: :+1:


That is so cool. I can’t wait to see more of this project. :grin:


I love clock work. I think you and I should be friends, this looks amazing. I think I can see what the mystery machine does I just can’t figure out what you’re planning to do with it, can’t wait to see more of what you’ve got!


Since I"m never growing up, I’m going to do it ASAF (as soon as forge-able).


Is it going to be a laughing Dan persona?


That is so very cool!


My guess is that it will be a tongue sticking out.


IR sensor… motor… arduino control.

The painting IS following you with its eyes!


So amazing


@millersw.628 Clockwork is about 5 levels above me. I’m ultra fascinated, but very intimidated. I’ll stick with easy stuff for now. I’m game to be friends, though!

@buschtrent Not quite, but not as far off as you would think.


I think everyone here already knows that you can do things far more impressive than this.


Oh wait is this a blink mechanism? Eye lids opening and closing slightly recessed into the face? Clock work is not scary at all don’t sell yourself short. Clocks by themselves are actually super simple they just look intimidating


“Everywhere I go, his eyes keep following me.” -Kaylee Frye


I’d get lost in the weeds on the mechanics. :relaxed: (But I do want to play with it one day…)


Well done. A blinking eye is right!

It’s not fully shown, but it’s a box with and eye on the front and a handle and crank. As you turn the crank the eye blinks. Each time the eye blinks it advances the drum in the middle and makes it look like the eye changes color.

Totally pointless, but I’m kind of excited to build it.


It was the drum that threw me I’m glad you explained that part I could see that it would advance but couldn’t figure out for what purpose. I can’t wait for you to get your machine!


I’m utterly enchanted. Great job! Really fun!


So cool! So many creative things to be done with gears and other mechanical components!!


@mheiselt, I saw this today and thought of your project. Looks like you could incorporate it into your design.