Can't get enough high-fives but your friends are tired of giving you any? You don't have friends? well either way here is a simple step by step (more or less) guide that my friends and I put together to making your (forever alone) High-Five Machine!!!  



Step 1: Getting Started

To begin, if you don't already have it then you need to get this awesome program called inkscape. It's a graphical design program that allows you to do all sorts of cool things. I actually came up with this idea while messing around on inkscape. To download inkscape just fallow this link http://inkscape.org/en/download/ or if it doesn't work just look it up on your browser (CHROME FTW!!!) and go to the downloads tab and find the appropriate version to download.

Step 2: Making the Gears

Here is where we are going to make the gears to get the arm of the high five machine to move. In order to make gears on inkscape you need to find the "Extensions" tab, go down to the "Render" branch then go down to and click on "Gear...". A small window will pop up, this is where you'll adjust the size and shape of the gears that you are using. After you make the outer side of the gear you will need a small hole to put a nail through or something. make a small circle and select it along with one of the gears, click the align and distribute button, then both the center horizontally and center vertically. Now you should have gear with a circle in its direct center. Now make a bunch of gears with differing numbers of points

Step 3: Cutting the Gears

First you need a laser cutter... sooooo since you most likely don't own one you may be able to find a business near you that owns one. Once you get your hands on a laser cutter, depending on the software its using and its model, you will need to adjust it to whatever material you are using. If you don't have much experience with the laser cutter that you are using, then find someone who is because they are EXPENSIVE and it can be broken by being not properly set up.

When we first cut out our gears we used thin wood. It worked well at first but as we continued to work with them they fell apart. We decided to switch to acrylic. It has held together and works much better but we had to peel all of this weird tape stuff off of it first.

Step 4: Arranging the Gears

You can basically do whatever you want here but we advise that you use the biggest gear for the high five arm so you can get the biggest range of motion. Once you have the gears where you want them get some nails and hammer them into the holes. Before you put to many on make sure it rotates smoothly if it doesn't then the gears are too close together.

Step 5: Making the Arm

For the arm you need a sturdy but light material. We experimented with PVC pipe and different types of wood and found that wood, not sure what kind, is the sturdiest and lightest material we could find. We have made a couple of arm prototypes, a couple had elbows, but the most recent and, so far, best working arm is just a strait wood pole.

Step 6: Making the Hand

There are many ways you could go about this but we used a thick block of memory foam and traced my hand on it. Then using the foam cutter in the shop (a taught wire that gets really hot) we cut it out. Then the hardest part we got a latex glove and shoved it in. now that you have the hand you can cut a hole in it for your arm and shove it right on top. Tape should be enough to hold it on.

Step 7: Mounting the Arm

You are going to want to mount the arm near the edge of the gear you are putting it on so you get the ideal range of motion. If there isn't already a hole where you want the arm to go then grab some safety glasses, a power drill, and a appropriately sized drill bit, mark the spot you are going to make the hole (preferably a sturdy location), clamp the gear down to the table (hard enough to hold it down but not so hard that it cracks) then carefully drill a hole in the gear. Do the same with the arm then bet a nut and a bolt and bolt the arm to the gear loose enough to allow for pivoting but tight enough that it doesn't wiggle or come loose. Now since there is a nut sticking out the bottom side of the gear, there needs to be a space on your board to allow the gear-arm assembly to go back on. We used a dremel and carved a circle beneath the path of the bolt so the gear can spin (you will need to do this for the gear with the handle on it as well).



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    7 Discussions

    andrea biffi

    5 years ago on Introduction

    I'm pretty sure the arrangement in the photo can't work... there are different ratios affecting the bigger gear... :-|

    2 replies
    petercdandrea biffi

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Im pretty sure it wont even make a 1/4 turn, but it is kinda funny, a HIgh 5 machine...lol