Saturday, October 16, 2010

Making a Wooden Toy Dinosaur (Spinosaurus Part 2 )

So I have my idea, a Spinosaurus toy. Now, what? Well, I came up with a list of what I want him to do.

1) He is a biped, so I want his legs to be jointed and move on wheels just like the other dinosaurs.

2) His sail has to move like the dimetrodon toy but with a more horizontal than vertical motion.

3) His mouth has to open and close as he is moved. (He's a carnivore and needs to be at least semi-menacing.)
4) I think I want to make his arms move on their own.
5) I want him to be able to write an opera and sing the soprano parts.

I realize that this will be fairly complicated, so I really can't just wing it. (A Pterodactyl though, that I could wing.)
So I start doodling some ideas in various notebooks. Just trying to get the ideas down and a general plan. As dimensions come to mind I make quick notations and hope that I will be able to read my own handwriting once the time comes. (Note the similarity to Da Vinci's notebooks.)

It doesn't take long to get the general plan set. Having built a dozen on the dinosaurs from "Making Toy Dinosaurs in Wood", I know that they are a fair amount of work and I really don't want to start down a path that results in failure. So, a proof of concept model is in order.

I took an old piece of shelving that I use to prevent splintering when I drill through other pieces and got to work. The power is going to be provided by a cam on an axle between two wheels so as long as I have that running I should be able test everything out. (Well everything except the opera bit, but I can work on that later.)
I know, not very dinosaur like, but that isn't the point right now. This is how it should work:
  • As the cam spins, the push rod will push the sail out to the right.
  • The jaw of the dinosaur's mouth will be attached to the top of the sail.
  • As the sail moves, the mouth with open.
  • The dowel through the jaw will then push down on a lever that moves the dinosaur's arms up and down.

Here it is all covered up and with the arm attached. No need to make the legs yet. I'm fairly confident that I can work on the math of them when the time comes.

Here is a short video showing how it should work.


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Just Saying...

While we don’t necessarily need more objects, we just might benefit from more making.
- John Dunnigan


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Regular guy who likes to make stuff who lives with a very patient wife, three daughters and three cats.