Introduction: Strawbots: Animation Rig

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Even though Strawbots are so conveniently light and posable, you still need a way to animate some more daring poses.

A simple animation rig can be made with some simple items.
  • Some rare earth magnets
  • a few K'NEX rods and connectors
  • a block of any material that you can drill into

To get maximum holding power and maintain ease of use, I chose one inch diameter by one eigth inch thick neodynium magnets. These will hold my robots in place and are not too diffucult to remove from the sheet metal base.

For aesthetic purposes, I chose to cut my base block on the CNC out of some 3/4" scrap phenolic sheet I had laying around .This is the same material that high end router table tops are made out of. However..... A simple block of wood will suffice.

It is important to use slightly oversized straws like the ones you can get from Harvey's. They are slightly larger than 1/4" diameter and K'NEX pieces will fit inside them perfectly.

Step 1: Design

I quickly drew up a plan on Rhino, and exported the file to be cut on the CNC. Again.... you can simply cut a block of wood for this, and drill your holes according to the size of the magnets you decide to use.

Step 2: K'NEX

Each block has two holes that allow you to install two K'NEX posts. The connectivity of K'NEX pieces gives you the ability to create almost any pose. Depending on the camera angle involved, you might not need to do much rig removal in your animations.

Step 3: Strike a Pose

Step 4: Animate

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