Origami Cranes "Gear-less" Automata

About: Co-owner of Reach and Teach - Books, Toys, and Gifts

This simple design is inspired by the Dancing Ballerina construction from the K'nex 35 model kit. What I like about this is that the gears are constructed using standard K'nex connector parts, no special gears are required. This instructable assumes that you already know how to fold an origami crane. If you don't, there are many resources online including origami-insturctions.com. Feel free to substitute other origami for the crane. I hope you build and have fun with this construction.

Step 1: Parts Required for This Instructable

In addition to the K'nex parts, you will need to make 8 origami cranes. Four of the cranes will be folded from standard 5-7/8" square paper. The smaller cranes are folded by cutting one 5-7/8" square piece of origami paper into 4 equal quarter pieces.

Short pieces of string are used to tie each of the larger cranes to K'nex purple clips as shown.

3" pieces of wire are taped to each of the smaller cranes. It is helpful to use long nose pliers to put a small loop at the top of each of the pieces of wire to give a little extra surface area to affix the wire to the crane.

Step 2: Construct the Base

Step 3: Construct the Rotor/Motor Assembly

Step 4: Install Rotor/Motor Assembly Into the Base

Step 5: Construct the Vertical Shaft and Gear Assembly

Step 6: Install Vertical Shaft and Gear Assembly

Note: The teeth of the vertical shaft gear should engage with the teeth of the rotor gear as shown

This is a good time to try turning on the motor and seeing if the vertical shaft turns smoothly.

Step 7: Construct and Install Larger Cranes

Step 8: Smaller Cranes Assembly

Attach the wires from the small cranes to the white connector using tape to secure the cranes as shown.

Step 9: Final Step

Attach the Small Cranes assembly to the top of the vertical shaft. You are ready to turn on the motor and watch your origami cranes automata work!

Let me know if you build this and any other ideas you may have.

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