Introduction: Dippy Bird Kinetic Beam

Picture of Dippy Bird Kinetic Beam

This is a horizontal flexible balanced beam arrangement that is kept in motion by a bobbing bird. 

The idea for the beam arrangement came from here:

Look at this site and the videos and you can see how this has been done using cardboard.

I added the drinking bird to keep the structure moving.  The bird is activated by a warm resistor at the bottom of the bird.

The major parts were printed on a Makerbot Replicator--the files are here if you want to print your own or send them to a printing service:

Step 1:

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Find the balance point of the first beam, drill a 1/16 inch diameter hole and insert 18 gauge wire into the hole.  Bend the wire and secure it in place with super glue.

Step 2:

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The first piece (farthest to the right) should balance with little or no weight.  I added a coin (penney) into the tube.  The first piece weighs about 30 grams. 

Balance the first piece on the second piece.  The second piece will require the addition of 120 grams or more to support itself and the first piece.

Balance the third piece on the second.  This will require 350 grams or more of weight.

You can see where this is going--the weight and stress on the pieces go up very quickly.  If you want to extend this out for a longer distance, the first piece needs to be as light as possible.

Step 3:

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Add the bird to the first piece--I held mine in place with double sided foam tape. 

Place a 3 watt 10 ohm resistor under the bird.  Attach wire wrap wire to the ends of the resistor.  Provide 5 volts (500 mA or more current capacity in the power supply) to the resistor.

Step 4:

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Run the wire over to the side of the tower.

Step 5:

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Tape the wire to the side of the tower.

Designing a hole in the tower for wire would have been nice, but the bird was an afterthought in my project.

Step 6:

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Keep the bird level or pointed down (heel higher than toes); otherwise, the bird will flip over backward and wind up with his head upside down.

Once it is put together, the structure is remarkably stable.  You can carefully pick it up and move the base with little movement of the beam.


amandaghassaei (author)2012-10-18

wow, some really interesting (possibly chaotic) motion you've got going there. Reminds me of the double pendulum.

About This Instructable




Bio: I am an author and a maker. My current project is Santa's Shop. I'm working on a science fiction type book--more later. @EngineerRigsby
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