Step 7: Final touches and wrap-up

When everything looks the way you want it, it is time to stain the balsa, insert them permanently (and fix them in place with a binding of thread) while tensing the wing fabric.
Finally I added 2 pairs of elastic ties (to at the top, 2 at the bottom) between the free center flaps of the two wings so they're under tension when extended...

As you can see in the last picture, they are pretty impressive when unfolded, and the only drawback I found so far is that the batteries drain pretty fast.

If you fold/unfold them a few times in a row, you can tell they're starting to slow down... I may modify the batterypack so it takes 6 14500 LiPol batteries in pairs (they do about 3.7V each) or triplets (11.1V, tests on the web show that these motors work fine on 12V, and it'll increase the speed too, which could be a bonus). That way I have 3 or 2 sets of rechargeable batteries with a good capacity. If they last a single day, I'm happy... We can recharge them over night! ;)
Pretty cool Cesco, I voted for you!
And thanks for uploading the vid.
You're welcome! Thx for the constructive criticism and for the vote! (I can definitely use more of the latter! ) <br> <br>And hey, it got an email telling me it's featured in the Technology section! Flabbergasted! Esp. as it is my very first Instructable, and not even finished yet!
This is great! I have a 7 year old who will be thrilled to help me work on this. I might not make it battery operated and figure out a manual way to make them open a rest and then release.- and make it a bit more durable so his 4 yr old brother can have a set too.
You can take the push-rods off of the back-plate and extend them a little, then make a handle/knob at the end and 'hooks' on the back-plate to fix them in the up/open position.<br><br>Grab the handles/knobs, and lift them up and hook them on the back-plate to open the wings. Unhook and lower then to fold the wings
Is there a website one could go on to get the lego pieces? <br>
<p>There is a lego e-bay type website for your legoing needs: bricklink.com. Super sweet, or, and don't quote me on this, I believe you can order individual legos from lego.com.</p>
<p>One option for potentially stronger gears (I don't know if they would actually be stronger) would be clock gears. If you can find a clock shop that makes *real* clocks (with metal gears and not battery powered), ask if they have a spare parts bin. If a gear isn't quite right, or somehow won't work for a clock, it might get chucked in bin and the owners might let you take some. Either way, clock shops are fun to explore.</p>
<p>Super Cool! Thanks for sharing, you did a fantastic Job! Very creative and live how the open with battery! </p>
You could be like batman if you paint it black
I might be able to build it if I knew what a good alternative to buying online would be.
Most wood (multiplex) can be bought almost anywhere, as can the nuts and bolts. (If you want to use balsa (like I did) you may have to go to specialist shops for model-plane building) Lego Technic (if you want to go that way, see my reliability remark in the other comment) can be bought in many toy stores, or you can go to a Lego shop to just get the required parts ordered. The wine box can be gotten at many deco shops (Just saw them on my vacation trip to Florida in the Hobby Lobby for instance)<br>For fabric, try JoAnn's or Michael's if you're in the USA...
I have a question. How much would you charge to build one of these? I would like one but don't have acess to internet often enough. Could it be built for 100$ or less? <br>
I really don't have the time to build another one of these. We've discontinued use of the wings because it was - after repeated use - unreliable. The small gears (the really small ones) kept breaking...<br>​​My daughter thinks they're too heavy too, so I won't try to remedy the problem either... If I were to try remedying it, I'd probably use a high speed linear actuator (which I tried to replicate with the Lego Technic, which in itself was successful, just had issues with the reliability/quality of the small gears ), and those aren't cheap.<br>Finally the shipping would be prohibitively expensive, due to the total weight!<br><br>Sorry I cannot help you any further!
do you think it would be possible to use springs and a latch to make the wings jump open rather than using electronics? or is the system too delicate for that kind of jolt
As long as you don't use springs that are too powerful and tighten the nuts accordingly it should work... (I think!)
Hmm, for some reason i can't seem to reply on your post... So I'll just repost. <br> <br>OK, thanks. <br>That might be a bit small for me, so i'll probably add an extra foot. To bad the engine won't hold up, it was an nice solution (everybody has easy acces to lego's). <br> <br>I also thought about using gas pistons and then linked to the small 12gr co2 canisters. I haven't found an affordable piston though.
I think it also depends what you want to use for the wings... Wood is relatively heavy... So is cotton fabric...<br><br>If you were to use lighter materials (aluminium, fiber/resin spines, nylon fabric, etc.) you might still be able to get away with using the Lego... Perhaps adding springs to take some of the load (esp. when extending the wings, which is clearly the heaviest task for the motor) may help as well...
PS: The main problem is not the motor (and if it were, Lego also has a bigger one, although that is a bit slower too), but the strength of the plastic cogs, esp. the really small ones, as well as the cohesion of the frame they're mounted in (the 'bricks' come apart which cause the cogs to slip). <br>I chose to not glue anything together, so it can be repurposed... I think that using glue and resin to reinforce the cogs and stick the 'bricks' of the framework together would also increase the load they can take!
oh my gosh i LOVE this!! i want to make one but can you please post a little more on the motor and how you attached it?
Sorry for not replying sooner, but I have been (and still am) too busy to do any crafting or instructables updating! <br> <br>I have pictures for another instructable (a steampunk reactor/powersource) ready, but no time to make it... <br> <br>I'll try to make pictures and post them though... Not giving an ETA tho!
I love this build! (consider it stolen for my own set of wings). <br>One question though (well 2 actually). What was your wingspan, and do you recon the little motor could handle more (and thus a heavier weight)? <br> <br>
Wingspan is approx 5' / 150 cm when expanded... And the Lego already struggles (already replaced some broken cogs!) with these, so bigger wingspan would very likely not work with Lego. <br> <br>I have looked at using either pistons (but that requires a source of pressurized gas/vapor), which would be more true to the theme, or electric linear actuators, but the (10V-12V) ones that have sufficient range (IIRC approx 14cm or 7&quot;) of movement are very expensive...
Coll I may build this
A very nice project! The idea and the combination of the LEGO Software, the LEGO itself and the DaVinci Wings are great. Looking forward to see more...
Very cool, excited to see the completed project
So am I.... So am I! ;)
Almost done now! <br> <br>A few more pictures and a videoclip to be added, but over all, the project itself is finished!
It's a shame the photos are so dark, but what we <em>really</em> need is a video of them operating!
+1 on video!
As I mentioned, I had to work with the pictures I had on my PC and iPad. I will <strong>definitely </strong>get better pictures (and a video) as soon as I get back home end of this week...
Better pics and video added...

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