Here’s a few things I’ve used in my quest for making kinetic things – reference, inspiration, or learning. I’m not specifically recommending anything here, but rather providing brief reviews if you’re considering the same things
http://507movements.com/ – great site for getting new ideas of how to make something move a certain way. There is a book of the same name (this is the one I have http://a.co/2WabSsO ), and one with 400, and one with 1800. 507 is fine. I like to have an off-line reference if I’m off-grid, but the website has animations which is helpful. There’s also several YouTube channels with videos of these, and more, in 3D form (here’s a good one one: https://www.youtube.com/user/thang010146/videos )
Mechanisms and Mechanical Devices Sourcebook, 5th Edition ( http://a.co/4BzVx92 ) – not terribly helpful, honestly, for making things. Great if you need to know technical specifics about a movement.
Automata and Mechanical Toys ( http://a.co/iS3MQ4L ) – good inspiration and decent ideas on putting things togethers in cool ways
Karakuri: How to make Mechanical Paper Models that Move ( http://a.co/7F8X6py ) – great for quickly putting together (mostly cam-based) mechanisms, and can easily translate to laser
Making Simple Automata ( http://a.co/0zdnvno ) – good to look at, but not overly instructional
Making Things Move DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists ( http://a.co/5wL5BmP ) – I was rather disappointed with this one, though it does cover electrical motors if that’s part of your work (it is part of mine, but I already knew what the book covered about them).
Federico Tobon ( https://twitter.com/wolfCatWorkshop ) makes awesome TINY automata using paper, pins, paperclips, and popsicle sticks. Totally love these works!! Great inspiration.
Happy making! We’d all love to see what you create!