Picture of Coffee Cup Whirlygig
It's spring madness again and time to create our coffee cup version of the Flower Whirligig Robogigithingy    This is a wind driven fanciful animated display.

This is also a simulation of Eric Wilhelm's treadmill desk to see if it may or may not be right for you...or your staff.

Note: When fully assembled, this model's turbine was not up to spec.  It had to be turned by hand as the air from a hair dryer was not powerful enough to turn the mechanism under full load.  May not be suitable for outdoor use.  Your mileage may vary.
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Step 1: Raid the pantry...and electrical closet...

Picture of Raid the pantry...and electrical closet...
For this project you just need a few simple things:

Three clean paper coffee cups.

Two pieces of stiff wire about 8 inches long. It doesn't matter if it is insulated or not.

Some tape.

A bit of stiff cardboard.

A plastic straw.  It needs to fit over the wires.

Scissors or utility knife to cut cardboard and paper.

Wire cutters and pliers to work the wire.

Step 2: Do the pokey-pokey...

Picture of Do the pokey-pokey...
Take a length of wire and run it straight through the cup about 1/3 of the way down from the open end of the cup.  It should be level.

Use something sharp like the end of a pointy pair of scissors to begin the hole.

It is recommended to put a piece of clear tape over the hole on the front and back surface of the cup in order to reinforce the hole from wear. 

That's a pretty accurate version of Eric at his desk. Stunning!
 First, I actually thought that he was in the background, until I played the video...
NachoMahma5 years ago
.  Too much friction! The insulation of the wire is not very slick. I'd first try removing the insulation from the offset part of the crank (a little light oil where the rod coils around the crank will help) and making the wire that goes through the cups/straws as straight as possible. If you can find smaller straws, get rid of all the insulation.
caitlinsdad (author)  NachoMahma5 years ago
Awww, I bet you tell everyone to "take it off"...

If that doesn't work, maybe I should add a turbocharger second fan blade to the rear.