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.
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,
Paint the head to suit your whim.
Cut the pieces from felt.
Create the arms and legs. Two pipe cleaners were twisted together for each leg and the arm combination.
Sew the clothes together and glue on the hat.
The elf should look something like this.
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".
Using 2-56 machine screws, connect the servo horn to the rod connector.
Slide the servo/horn assembly into the servo pole top bracket.
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.
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.
Secure the swing to the rod by melting the plastic (using a soldering iron) or super glue.
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.