This is clever, and good use of the glowforge on the mechanism. I’ve got questions
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? How long do you anticipate the batteries lasting? How often do you poll the PIR for movement?
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. ↩︎
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.
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.