If you're here to make a lovely spinning sculpture, you're in the right place!
This tutorial will teach you how to make a kinetic sculpture capable of spinning with the help of a crank.
Use this tutorial for:
- a school art project
- a fun physics experiment
- Something to fill you're time if you're really, really bored
Step 1: Materials
Gather Materials- you will need:
Several moving boxes with of Cardboard
A large compass
Box cutter and scissors
1 Long piece of PVC pipe, 2 elbow joints, 2 short pieces of PVC
Measuring stick of some sort
Step 2: Cut Out Circles
Your circles may be as large or as small as you would like: our largest circle was approximately 17 inches in diameter, and our smallest is approximately 3 inches in diameter. We created 3 circles of the same diameter, and had 8 different size of circles.
For each size of circle, we decreased the diameter by an inch or two.
In order to create your circles, set your compass to the largest diameter you would like. Trace the circle onto the cardboard. Then, using your box cutter and scissors, cut out the circle from the cardboard as neatly as possible.
Continue to do this, decreasing the size of your circle, until you have as many circles in as many sizes as you would like. In our project, we had approximately 25 circles.
Step 3: Measure and Cut Out Slits for PVC Pipe
In order to attach pop sickle sticks securely to the PVC pipe and support your circles, you must saw into the PVC to make a tight slit for the stick to fit in. Place marks for sawing approximately two inches above one another, rotating around the PVC. We put our marks exactly one fourth of the way around the PVC pipe.
Then, take your saw and make cuts where the marks are. You may need to widen them slightly to allow space for a pop sickle stick. It should still be small enough that it is difficult to fit the pop sickle stick in.
If your slit gets too wide, don't worry! You can use hot glue to make the slit smaller and make the pop sickle stick.
Step 4: Attaching Circles
This is one of the most complicated steps, because it takes a variety of techniques working in junction to make the circles stay upright. We will be using notches, tape, glue, string, and our pop sickle sticks to make our sculpture fully functional.
First, stick in the pop sickle sticks to the slits, and add hot glue wherever is necessary.
Then, take your largest circle. Cut out a square notch that fits snugly around your PVC pipe. Then, using the pointy end of your compass, poke a hole in the cardboard on either side of the notch. Using string, tie a loop going between the two holes. Make sure to make it tight: this will go around the PVC and add support behind the circles.
Once you have the circle prepared, put a pop sickle stick in the lowest notch on the PVC pipe. Loop the circle/square made by the notch in your cardboard and string around the piece of PVC and place the cardboard on top of the pop sickle stick. Either glue or tape your circle to the pop sickle stick, and place supportive tape around the string on the PVC. Your circle should stay upright fairly well. If it isn't, you can also try cutting a small piece of square cardboard to fit in between circle and support them near their attachment to the PVC.
Continue to attach your circles this way, adding the largest circles near the base and using the smaller ones towards the top. Approximately halfway up the sculpture, the string should become unnecessary and you only need to use the notch and pop sickle stick attachment. If you're sculpture is larger, you may need to continue using a variety of attachment methods.
Step 5: Attaching a Base and Making It Spin
Tape your removable fan cover to the floor. This will serve as your base. The PVC pipe should fit into the circular opening in the fan snugly. Your sculpture should stand upright, but still be able to turn.
Now, making it spin!
Use a elbow PVC pieces to make a square shape in the PVC similar to a crank. Ours was at the top of our sculpture, however depending on whether or not you vary your base, this could easily be added to the bottom of your sculpture instead.
Step 6: Celebrate Your Achievement
Congratulations! You have officially created your very first kinetic circular sculpture! Celebrate your accomplishments. You deserve it.