Flower Automata

Introduction: Flower Automata

Gather supplies to begin the automata. The supplies that you need include: cardboard, a straw, three chopsticks, super glue, a box cutter, printer paper, scissors, a ruler, push pins, and a screwdriver. You can also sketch a basic design of your project, with rough measurements that I did before building the project.

Step 1: Step 1: Base

First, you need to construct your base. Using your box cutter, cut 2 12 cm x 10 cm rectangles, 2 2cm x 11.2 cm rectangles and 2 2cm x 10 cm rectangles. When cutting the rectangles be sure to use the ruler to measure out the measurements first before using the boxcutter to cut them out. Once the rectangles are cut out, take one of the 12 cm x 10 cm rectangles and glue the 19 x 2cm rectangles on the 10 cm sides at a 90 degree angle. Glue the 2 cm x 11.2 cm rectangles at a 90 degree angle on the 12 cm side. When gluing, you should use super glue and be sure to have the glue dry before moving to the next step. Finally, glue the second 12 cm x 10 cm rectangle on top of the box you have made.

Step 2: Cams

Now, we have to make the cams. First, using the box cutter and cardboard, cut 6 5 cm in diameter circles. Since circles are difficult to cut, I suggest making many 2.5 cm measurements from the radius to form the circle. Once the circles are cut, using super glue, glue them together in pairs so that the circles are perfectly aligned. Then, rip the top layer off of a piece of cardboard so that it is just the paper and cut it into 0.8 cm wide strips. Using these strips, glue one end of the strip to the cardboard circle and wrap it around until the edge is fully covered and glue the other side. The strips allow for the cardboard cams to be smooth.

Step 3: Sides

Then out of cardboard, cut 2 15 cm x 9 cm rectangles using a box cutter. Using a ruler, divide the 9 cm width in half, drawing a line with your pencil, and the 15 cm length into 4 parts, also drawing these lines with your pencil. On the intersection of the first 1/4 and the 1/2 line, stab a hole in the cardboard using a screwdriver. This should be done on both 15 cm x 9 cm pieces. Then glue on of the 15 cm x 9cm rectangles at a 90-degree angle on the left side of the base so that the 9 cm side is facing down on the 10 cm side of the base, the rectangle should be glued so that there is about 1 cm between the edge and the rectangle.

Step 4: Axel and Cams

With your three cams, stab holes using the screwdriver in each of them, so that they are in staggered heights, but still on the diameter line. Use a straw, preferably one that has a bendy part at the end, to slide each of the cams onto it. Be sure that the cams are evenly spaced out and there is enough room on the ends of the straw. Once the cams are placed properly on the straw, rotate them so that they are at staggered heights. Then, use the super glue to glue the cams in place on the straw.

Step 5: Structure

Take the axel(straw) with the cams and slide it through the hole that is in the 15 cm x 9 cm rectangle glued onto the base of the automata. Then, take the other 15 cm x 9 cm rectangle that should already have a hole in it and slide it onto the other side of the axel(straw). Glue the 15 cm x 9 cm rectangle onto the automata about 1 cm from the edge. Cut 2 1.5 cm diameter circles out of the cardboard using a boxcutter, and stab a hole in each of them(at the center). Slide each circle on one side of the axel. Adjust the axel so that it is even and glue the circle stoppers onto the axel, close but not touching the sides, so that it stays in place. Then cut a 9.2 cm x 5 cm rectangle out of cardboard. With this rectangle, put glue on both 5 cm edges and slide it in between the sides of the automata so it lines up with the 3/4 line. Finally cut a 10 cm x 9 cm rectangle out of cardboard and glue it on top of the sides of the automata.

Step 6: Stems

On top of the automata box, using a ruler, line up the cams to a line on the automata, mark the line with a pencil. Divide the top of the box in half using the pencil, so that the line is parallel with the axel(straw). On the three-line intersects, use push pins to mark them. Take out the push pins and use a screwdriver to stab a hole at each intersection. Make sure the screwdriver stabs a hole through two pieces of cardboard so that it touches the top of a cam. Once the holes are stabbed, ensure that the stems or chopsticks can fit in the hole and align appropriately with the cams.

Step 7: Flowers

Print 3 line drawings of your desired flower, the flower should be no more than 1.5 inches wide. Color in the flowers with your desired colors and cut out the flowers. Using a box cutter, cut out three 1 cm circles. Glue the circles onto the back of the flowers for extra support. Get your Chinese chopsticks and glue the top of the chopstick(the part you would use to touch the food) to the cardboard circles on the back of the flowers. Place the stems back into the holes at the top of the automata. Cut three 2 cm square cardboard pieces using a box cutter. With each of these squares, glue one to the bottom of each chopstick to allow the automates to move the stems more easily. When gluing, make sure the stem and square make a 90-degree angle and that the stem is in the center of the square.

Step 8: Decorate

Finally, decorate your automata as you please. I chose to cut up fake grass and glue it onto the sides and top of the automata to follow the flower theme. Other suggestions could be painting it green or even coloring the chopsticks green before attaching them to the flowers.

Be the First to Share


    • Back to School: Student Design Challenge

      Back to School: Student Design Challenge
    • Rocks, Gems, and Stones Speed Challenge

      Rocks, Gems, and Stones Speed Challenge
    • Plastic Challenge

      Plastic Challenge



    1 year ago

    The fake grass makes it look great!