Swinging Elf, Santa's Shop 2016

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Introduction: Swinging Elf, Santa's Shop 2016

About: I am an author and a maker. My current project is Santa's Shop. I'm working on a science fiction type book--more later. @EngineerRigsby

This hand made elf swings on a custom servo operated swing. My wife, Annelle, did the artistic elf work whlle I managed the mechanics.

Step 1: Parts

The elf is designed using Sculpy clay and he is dressed in clothes made using felt. The legs and arms are made with pipe cleaners.

Although I scanned and 3d printed the elf (to make it light weight), you could bake the clay and proceed from there.

The swing is made using wood, a standard servo motor, 3d printed parts, two 1/4 inch id (3/4 inch od) bearings and an Arduino Uno.

Step 2:

I scanned the elf using a MakerBot Digitizer, then in TinkerCad I added a 4mm hole (left to right) for the arm/shoulder and two 4mm holes (front to back) for the legs.

If you bake the clay model, don't forget to make these holes before it goes into the oven,

Step 3:

Paint the head to suit your whim.

Step 4:

Cut the pieces from felt.

Step 5:

Create the arms and legs. Two pipe cleaners were twisted together for each leg and the arm combination.

Step 6:

Sew the clothes together and glue on the hat.

Step 7:

The elf should look something like this.

Step 8:

Print out a number of 3d parts. The "top" pieces will slide on the end of 1 x 2 lumber (about 7 inches long). The base is 1" x 5.5" x5.5".

Step 9:

Using 2-56 machine screws, connect the servo horn to the rod connector.

Step 10:

Slide the servo/horn assembly into the servo pole top bracket.

Step 11:

Slide the rod (end with a hole) through a bearing and slide this into the servo top assembly. Slide the swing assembly onto the rod. Slide a bearing onto the end of the rod.

Step 12:

Slide the assembly onto the top of the 1 x 2 wood frame. Fasten the rod to the servo assembly by inserting a 2-56 machine screw through the rod/connector holes. Secure with a 2-56 nut.

Step 13:

Secure the swing to the rod by melting the plastic (using a soldering iron) or super glue.

Step 14:

From the servo motor, attach the yellow wire to digital pin 2 of the Arduino. Red should go to the 5v pin and black to gnd. Install the sketch included in this step and your little elf should be swinging.

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    3 Discussions

    Just have to comment again...such nice work! You are a highly skilled and talented man.I know that the Mrs. help as well, and your creations together are so unique!

    Hats off to you both!

    Build_it_Bob

    1 reply

    Thank you--it's always great to hear words of encouragement from you! A video of the entire project can be seen here


    I have kept up with most of the steps at this location:

    https://hackaday.io/project/11397-santas-shop

    It looks like we'll get the thing into a display window in a local business in December--keeping our fingers crossed.

    We have enjoyed this, seeing what we could put together just for fun (no commercial benefit at all).

    Hi Mike,

    Great to see your projects. It is getting so that I can spot your work before I read the title or the maker. As always, great job! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Build_it_Bob