Step 2: What you will need.

Here are the items you will need:

- A box of jumbo size paperclips (this size is made with 1.0 mm diameter wire).
- Two small pieces of hardwood. I purchased two hardwood flooring samples at a local building supply for 25 cents each.
- A pair of wire cutters and a pair of long nose pliers. I recommend the wide flat kind shown above. If you already have them, a regular
   pair of needle nose pliers with side cutters also work pretty good.
- A couple of 0.8, 1.0 and 1.2 mm drill bits. Harbor Freight has a set of 30 various miniture metric drill bits for just $3.99
- A rotary  tool with a cutoff disk to cut one of the drill bits.  
- A drill for drilling holes in the hardwood. Manual and electric drills both work fine.
- A small ruler and a pencil for measuring and marking drill holes

NOTE: Other gauge paperclips can be used. Smaller clips will be easier to bend, but your projects will need to be somewhat smaller because of the reduced wire length. Other size paperclips will also require different size drill bits.

<p>We've made this a couple of times in our Maker Meetup group - it's a lot of fun! </p>
I love this project, so I tried it with my 8th grade students last year. Many of them ended up exasperated, because they'd made their parts the wrong size and they didn't function together well. It might be helpful to take a picture of the parts laid out on graph paper so they can see the relative sizes. Thanks for the ingenious use of inexpensive materials!
Thanks!!! Your video is now public...jejeje <br>Is a great video. congratulations.
coolest instructable.
This makes me want to walk to the nearest Walmart, buy a pack of paperclips and rubber bands, and make a working miniature bicycle.
This looks really great. i love having something to make.
can you help me with the assemblying? I did the parts already <br>
I am sorry but it would be nearly impossible for me to provide detailed assembly instructions here for all of the possible parts configurations. Most of the parts have to be assembled as you make them. A perfect example is the hand crank and the leg stands it is mounted on. You can pre-make the leg stands, but It is simply impossible to get the crank onto the stands after you have bent it. You have to bend the crank as you mount it to the stands. You will just have to experiment with this on your own and figure out your own way of doing it. That is the fun of a project like this. Also, when you finish - it will be your's - and not a copy of someone else's.
oh and can you please name the parts on the completed sculpture picture because i can't figure out which part is which :)
wow that was awesome!!!
one word... EPIC!!!!!! this is an awesome, ingenius machine!!! how did you figure it all out?!?!?! EPIC!!!!!
Way cool! Now I know how to pass my time at the office!
We love this project and my daughter has created it for her science expo-can anyone please help us and list the different simple machine components that create the complex machine? I hope we did it right-we think there is a lever and pulley simple machine.<br>THANKS for this!
I see levers and a wheel and axle (the crank).
Use a motor (optional) and a hand drill. Color it and make it beautiful.<br>
Great design, but a few things you could do with it.<br><br>1. You could build a machine to wind up a trebuchet, catapult, etc...<br><br>2. You could incorporate batteries into it and make it out of paperclips, batteries, and electical tape.<br><br>Those are just a couple ideas.
dude, THATS SICK! <br>now ijust have to make one...
Not 'have to', 'can'.
This is really cool :) Thank you for sharing!
The soldering idea is interesting. however, I think you could avoid a lot of difficulty by finding a wire with a gauge similar to that of the paperclips you are using. Of course the drawback is that you wouldn't get to say that the machine is made of paperclips.
would i be able to use a block of polystyrene instead of wood for the base?
Any solid plastic block should work so long as it can hold the pieces firmly and the holes don't become enlarged during operation.
Great instructable! I made something similar this past summer, but out of forged steel:<br><br><iframe frameborder="0" height="274" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/QKkMCGp68Rk" width="480"></iframe>
I wish I had the imagination to think of things like this, but I am really grateful you share your ideas. Love it. I love automata period, and this can be done sitting in my chair while my significant other watches something I have zero interest in. What a perfect instructabe! <br> <br>Ron
Very nice work .there use to be a mail order company that sold a wire bending jig for making fishing lures going to have to look and see if I still have it around here somewhere and see what I can make ...If I cant find it your instructions are so well written and shown that even I can follow them
Wire bending jig: <br>http://www.micromark.com/economical-strip-and-wire-bending-jig,7070.html <br> <br>Metal Forming Plier Set: <br>http://www.micromark.com/metal-forming-pliers-set-of-4,7068.html
<div> Great instructable! I really liked the fact that to do this project you don't have a lot of startup cost. The only things I had to buy were the paperclips, a plier and a drill bit (spend about 10 euro's). I had a go at it and this is the result:<br> <br> <iframe frameborder="0" height="239" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/etC4SrE4_Bo" width="425"></iframe><br> <br> I found it quite hard to create an original design. I hardly have any technical knowledge, so it was hard to think up new (usable) parts. I ended up copying most of your design. Would be nice to have a list of cranks, levers etc. with instructions on how to assemble them.</div>
Few times ego i had try make mechanic birb the same way. But you make better than me. Now i'll try again!!
This is really good. I am an EE professor and I recognize a great STEM awareness building project when I see one. This could easily be done by middle schoolers. <br><br>I could see some refinements: pre-drilled bases and precut wire segments that have had sharp ends smoothed. Other than that, leave all the bending and shaping in.<br><br>For HS students, just a bag of clips and a board along with the tools ;-)<br><br>Go collegiate and add the soldering idea.<br><br>I see competitions!<br><br>...again, great idea and execution.
Very cute idea. Have you heard about FAT Friday at MIT? (http://web.mit.edu/museum/programs/fat.html). They have people build small machines and then link them all in a row to create a chain reaction. I've been trying to think of something that would be like that - but was small enough and easy enough for a bunch of 5th graders or cub-scouts to make themselves. This inspires me. Good idea!
Thank you for a great idea. I hope you don't mind, but I put your suggestion and link into step one where hopefully more people can read it.
Sounds like a fine idea - keep up the good work. If I make anything I'll send you pix... :-)
This is AWESOME. I mean it, this is the coolest thing I have seen yet. ;-) My thought was that you could conceivably add a little mannequin-type figure; so that it dances or does something when you turn the crank. Also, couldn't you conceivably use a rubber band(and a stopper to control the speed? I'm just dumb) to wind it up? *headshake* Sorry, it's 4:30 in the morning. Thank you so much for posting this! I agree with the other commenters; like I just told my wife, this is the clearest Instructable I've ever seen. The instructions and videos are SO easy to keep track of... FANTASTIC job.
Fantastic ! It's really nice one.
nice machines!i 'd like to make one by my own. thanks for the sharing!
In college in a power mechanics class our instructor used a similar problem for the design of cams. He gave us a board with a hole randomly placed and 2 x's on the top of the board and 2 on the side of the board. The object was to design a machine that by moving a lever between the two marks on the side would through levers make a wire that would move up and down to push cotton balls into the hole.
If you think this is neat... <br>Google 'Arthur Ganson' and check out the kinetic wire sculptures he creates... <br>Tower of six gears is amazing wire piece
You never cease to amaze me Mr. Biochemtronics! This project blends art and technology . Can't wait to see what you come up with next......your biggest fan.
This is wonderful! Your directions are clear and the videos really helped me see what the machines were doing! I wonder if I could possibly do this with my elementary school arts and engineering club? I'll have to give it a shot myself and then see what I think.<br><br>Thanks for the time you put into making your informative 'ible!
Yeah, I like it! Very nice craftsmanship! <br> <br>In third grade I spent ours making electric &quot;buzzers&quot; with simple classroom materials including paper clips. Insulated wire (that was the most exotic material) was wound around a nail for the electromagnet, and a bunch of paper clips for the buzzer arm and the make-and-break contact, powered by a D cell battery. Thumbtacks held it all down on a wood board. Can't remember if the nail was held down horizontally by some hammered &quot;staples&quot; possibly. <br> <br>They rarely worked well in spite of my efforts, although occasionally I got a hopeful buzz. Maybe now I can revisit that and do a little better. I think I needed some inertial mass on the buzzer arm to give it some momentum, and maybe more wire on the electromagnet. I sure more batteries would have helped, but the challenge is to do it with a single D cell. I'd like to see a little buzzer competition arise. <br> <br>
A beautiful project and a nice piece of desk art. I could see a Jr. Achievement program making these and having a demand for the product. <br> <br>One thought - to make it uber attractive to kids (ok, and to me too!) I think it needs to DO something . If there was a small bell at the top of the verticle shaft so that every turn would ring the bell ... <br> <br>Great job. Thanks for sharing
nice 'ible<br><br>all you people interested in wire machines (or mechanisms) must to check this out:<br>http://www.arthurganson.com/<br><br>enjoy!
This is very inventive, and a cool instructable! You have been outdone by a dentist by the name of Michael Clair who used paperclips for root canal work:http://www.naturalnews.com/034775_dentist_paper_clips_root_canal.html<br><br>Maybe he can submit an instructable for that while he's doing porridge! <br>For the record- I like your application better.
Not sure how much it matters, but your first pic for step 3 says the drill shanks are cut to 5mm and 10mm, but your text says 10mm and 20mm - can you clarify?
Good catch. Thanks. I have corrected the proble.

About This Instructable




Bio: After a career in industrial electronics I went back to college and now do DNA research.
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