Introduction: 8_DT_Rama & Cherubel_Automata

We were assigned to make an automata for the children of Uganda that lack fun toys to play with. Through this Intractable we plan to show you how to successfully create an automata that expresses the popular story/theme of "The Three Little Pigs." The automata is made mostly out of wood and some elements being cnc'd using plastic. The automata will be composed of 4 different cams and 4 followers working together to help four separate characters/elements move up, down and in circles. However, one of our cams is shaped like an egg, this will help that character (the wolf) move in a different motion than the other elements of the automata. The automata, at the end of the process will hopefully be a colourful and exciting toy for children between the ages of 4-5 to play with! (The above is a sketch of the automata).

Step 1: Materials

First things first, gather all your materials before assembling your automata. You will need the following:

  1. Hot Glue Gun
  2. Drill
  3. Sand Paper
  4. Scroll Saw
  5. Hammer
  6. Ruller
  7. Assembly Clamps
  8. Right Angled Ruler
  9. CNC Plastic Cutting Machine
  10. 3 CNC'd pigs
  11. 1 CNC'd wolf
  12. 8 3.5cm (diameter) cams
  13. 10cm x 20cm x2 (Top & Bottom)
  14. 10cm x 20cm (Wood Stabiliser for Elements)
  15. 10cm x 13cm x2 (Wood Sides)
  16. 13.5cm x 11.5cm (Wood Barn Piece)
  17. Thin 30cm Stick (0.2cm thick)
  18. Thin 7cm Stick (0.2cm thick)
  19. Thick 22cm Stick (0.5cm thick)
  20. 2cm x 2cm x2 (Wood or Plastic Stoppers)
  21. 4cm x 1.5cm Plastic (Handle)
  22. Paint (Red, White, Blue, Yellow)

Step 2: Building the Housing

Using the assembly clamps, align the top and bottom pieces together. Once done using the drilling machine, drill three holes into the side like the above picture. Now cut and use short pieces (2.5cm long) of the 0.2cm thick stick and hammer them within the holes. Keep doing this process for all the corners of the automata until the housing of the automata is complete.

Step 3: Drilling Side Holes

Mark a spot and using the drill, drill two wholes at the sides of the housing using the drill that will allow a 0.5cm thick stick to go through (drill the holes slightly above centre of the piece).

Step 4: Stabiliser for Elements

Glue on top of your automata the 10cm x 20cm thick piece of wood (this will be used to stabilise your sticks as they go up and down).

Step 5: Holes for the Elements

Mark a circle close to one side of the top of the automata. Using your ruler measure 4 centimetres away and mark another circle, do this twice more and you will have four separate places for the pigs and wolf. Now, using the drill (0.5cm thick) drill through the top of the automata in the marked places. Completed, it should look like the above picture.

Step 6: Cams

Grab your 4 cams (one being the egg shaped one for the wolf) go to the drill and using the 0.5cm thick drill, drill holes slightly above the centre of all the cams.

Step 7: Cams on Shaft

Now get the 22cm stick (0.5cm thick) for the shaft. Put all four cams through the stick according to the placements of the holes from step 5. Now put a small amount of hot glue next to each cam to keep them in place.

Step 8: Sticks for Elements

Grab the 4 pieces of 7cm (0.2cm thick) sticks and the 4 remaining cams that will be used as followers. Then glue each stick in the centre of each cam. At the end you should have total of 4 sticks glued onto 4 separate followers (above is an example of one stick on a follower).

Step 9: Assembly of Cams on Housing

Carefully place the followers and sticks into the 4 holes you made for them in step 5 (maker sure the followers are placed so that that sticks come out from the top of the housing).

Step 10: Assembly of Shaft With Housing

Now place your shaft into the two holes you drilled in step 3 (do this by putting one side of the shaft inside one hole of the housing and then slowly place the other side into the other hole). The end result should look like the picture above.

Step 11: Stoppers for the Shaft

Get the two pieces of 2cm x 2cm pieces of wood or plastic (these will be used to stop the shaft from sliding in and out while being spun). Using the 0.5cm drill, drill a hole in the centre of each piece. Carefully push one piece into the extra stick hanging from one side of your automata. Then apply some glue at the edge of the piece. Once done, do the same thing for the other side with the other piece (the above picture shows one side done).

Step 12: Assembly of Crank

Get the 4cm x 1.5cm piece of plastic and drill a 0.5cm thick hole on one side of the piece. Now get a small portion about 2.5cm of the 0.2cm thick stick. Glue this stick to the side of the plastic without the drilled hole. Now carefully attach the handle to one side of the automata with the stick facing outwards. It should look like the above picture.

Step 13: Designing & Printing Elements

For this step you will need a CNC machine and a computer with 2D Design. Go on the computer and find a black image of a pig and a wolf. Paste them on 2D Design and using the bitmap tools make the images transparent and then get the outlines for them. Once done, paste the outlines for the pig two more time to have three pigs and one wold overall. Organise the image outlines on your sheet and send it to the CNC machine to get printed (use plastic to print on).

Step 14: Painting Elements and Housing

Get the 3 painted CNC'd pigs and the 1 painted CNC'd wolf. Now get some paint and paint the pigs pink and the wolf brown. Let the elements dry, whilst this is happening paint the outside of housing a light blue. Let that dry too. Then paint the 13.5cm x 11.5cm piece (Barn) like a barn (look online for inspiration).

Step 15: Glueing Elements

Get the 3 CNC'd pigs and the 1 CNC'd wolf. Using the hot glue gun, place a drop of glue on one stick, then quickly stick one pig onto the stick. Do this for all three pigs and the wolf (shown in the above picture).

Step 16: Glueing Decorations (Barn Piece)

Get the barn piece and apply hot glue on the two bottom edges. Quickly place the barn at the back of the housing towards the pigs side (shown in the above picture).

Step 17: Finished Product - Video