Seinfeld Subtitles

Like many, I’m a big fan of Seinfeld. Season 3, Episode 21 features a painting of Kramer in the story. In that episode, a man and his wife discuss the painting. It’s hilarious.

So, I bought a 36" x 24" poster of that Kramer painting. And recently decided it should adorn my water heater. Although the poster is great, I miss the wonderful back-and-forth review by the couple.

It struck me that I could embellish my poster with “subtitles” of the critiques voiced by the couple. I wanted these subtitles to only cycle when someone stands within 3 feet of the poster.

So, here’s the result. Features a Geneva wheel mechanism cut on my laser. A little traditional
woodworking. And, a dose of electronics and sensors thrown in for good measure.


What a great idea! Such a cool build!


That is so awesome! One of my favorite episodes too!! :rofl:


Hilarious!!well done!


Wow! I love this. Loved Seinfeld…this is hilarious!


This is clever, and good use of the glowforge on the mechanism. I’ve got questions :slight_smile:

Were you inspired by any previous projects or art, or did the idea just come to you?

Did you do any testing on the durability of the mechanism? Did you lubricate any of the moving parts?

How loud is the frame when it’s running?

Any idea of the idle power consumption?[1] How long do you anticipate the batteries lasting? How often do you poll the PIR for movement?

  1. There are ways to go into very low power consumption modes with arduino and only periodically wake up and see if the PIR detected anything. I’m not sure how well that would work in this situation, but if battery life is lower than you’d like it might be worth investigating. ↩︎


I love your gear work and implementation! I need to play around with that gear type, it might actually solve an issue I was having with an earlier project!

My problem is that I chain to many of the gears together and really have to reduce friction or increase torque…

Great project! Thanks for sharing!!


Great Project. I love the Geneva wheel.

I have this book:

and one of the things I wanted to do “when I get a laser cutter” was to recreate a bunch these mechanical movements to display.
Well… almost four years of laser ownership and I still haven’t made even one. Maybe now that you reminded me…


I’ve long been a fan of automata and mechanical movements. I designed my own original automata 6 or 7 years ago that uses a Whitworth quick return mechanism and spend a lot of time dabbling in that space.

Given the duty cycle here, I’m highly confident that there’s no need for lubrication and that it’s probably more durable than I am. It only runs when it “sees” someone standing within 3 feet of it and my water heater just doesn’t get that much traffic. :slightly_smiling_face:

It’s fairly quiet when it runs. There is sound in the video, but you’d probably have to turn your speakers all the way up to hear it. The motor only runs for 5.65 seconds to rotate the next panel into view.

Power is supplied by a 12 volt adapter plugged into an outlet, so there’s no concern about batteries and such. The PIR sensor polls continuously except when it’s running the motor.

Let me know if I can answer anything else.


Ah, I know this book! I share your passion for the subject and I’ve only explored two so far: the Whitworth quick return mechanism and the Geneva wheel.

505 to go! :slightly_smiling_face:


I think I need to get this book!

[Edit] Purchased; it should be here tomorrow!


I just put a hold on it at my library, it should be transferred to the branch in two days. Cool.


This is such an epic and hilarious build. :rofl:
It reminds me of the famous Banksy self-destructing $1.4 mill “Girl with Balloon” painting.


It’s a fun book to peruse.

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I bought the Kindle version. It cost me $2.51 in 2016. :slight_smile:


Funny you should mention that. I did one of those on my Glowforge in December 2018:

Banksy Frame (Glowforge version) - Made on a Glowforge - Glowforge Owners Forum



That’s so awesome! Now you need to combine the idea and make a mini Banksy. :laughing:


Love this project! Who knew that hot water heaters made great gallery spaces? Ours is covered with coupons and warranties from our maintenance provider.


yo people be getting real crafty with this GF, love it!


My son would love this!!! As always, when I peruse the posts on the GF app… :exploding_head: :exploding_head: :exploding_head: LOVE all of the creativity!!! :heart: