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How to make cylinders move in a serpintine pattern Answered

I am creating a sculpture that has a very complicated movement that I am struggling with.  I have a shadow box containing 2 rows of two foot long one inch diameter cylinders. I want them to "weave" back and forth in the shadow box. I thought about cutting out a track from a 1/4" plate and mounting it on the top and bottom of the box. Than placing a motor  inside one of the cylinders connected to a shaft and a gear that would ride in the track. I like this idea but, I do not know how to overcome the problem of where the track crosses itself. (the track would look like multiple figure 8's) Any ideas on this or better ideas? Thanks for your help!



9 years ago

you could make a little flap on the inside of the track, where the figure 8s intersect that would flip over both directions...so that when the cylinder is moving in one direction at the intersection it closes the flap to make that part of the track solid, then when it comes around the loop to go back through across that intersection it would push the flap closed in the other direction completing the track again....of course this would only work if none of the cylinders ever pass any one intersection at the same time


9 years ago

You could bend thick wire into a "wave", thread the cylinders on it and rotate the wire? Assuming it's the shadows you want that might give the effect.



9 years ago

I can think of a relatively complex system like what is used to make round weave rope...where the spindles temporarily attach to 2 counter-rotating 'holders' - and dance like a doe-see-doe.

The cylinders need some way of engaging the holder rollers such that when they come into contact, they stick to the one side, and release from the side that previously held them.....

it is quite complex...either way you slice it.