Introduction: Theo Jansens Strandbeest Wind Up Motor Mod

Still awaiting my 3D printer but admiring Theo Jansen's work and really craving to examine the inner workings of one of these little Strandbeest's I forced myself to fork out and buy a lovely injection molded model (they can be found here)
Not being content with having to blow the confounded but very efficient small fan and almost give myself hyperventilation each time I wanted to see it move I thought to try and tack a little wind up motor onto the side.

Step 1:

Gather hackable parts and materials.

Step 2:

Take the case off of your wind up toy.

Step 3:

Sometimes they use a locktite substance to seal the screws, because they are children's toys to avoid them coming apart and becoming a choking hazard. The grip on these little screw drivers can be hard to get purchase on so i grip them with a wireless drill but a pair of pliers can also be used.

Step 4:

Take all outside fixtures off the motor, admire the mechanism. This ladybird aswell as the wheels propelling it along did back flips. I took the bottom drive shaft out as it was not needed however it turned out it has a job inside, applying pressuring to one of the cogs and the engine will not work properly without it.
Keep other bits in a jar for future projects.

Step 5:

Find cog that fits and shave lip on washer that is already on the drive shaft.

Step 6:

Measure the top bar of the Strandbeest and drill the same sized hole in the already pilot hole, furthest away from the winder as seen here on the far left.

Step 7:

Check that its a good fit.

Step 8:

Find a thin piece of string that fits through the hole furthest away from the previously drilled one, I use kite string.

Step 9:

Measure the string too short to reach the bottom metal rod support and attach a little bit of elastic band to provide tension.

Super glue the cog down to the drive shaft, I use a araldite. Leave for 24 hours. Make sure the cog runs absolutely parallel to the motor body.

Step 10:

Wind it up and enjoy your Stranbeest indoors as well as out in the big bad world!

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