The Kinemeter: Part 2: Building the Body

Introduction: The Kinemeter: Part 2: Building the Body

Hello! Fellow makers and viewers alike. A new Year, a new project. Wheel of Building, turn, turn, turn, tell me what I shall teach about the Kinemeter. The body? How to build it? GOOD ENOUGH!!

WELCOME to the second part of my three part miniseries on the KINEMETER!!!!!! If you do not know what I am talking about, then see the first part, where I formally introduce the Kinemeter and demonstrate its functionality. The link to it is below:

Click here-------------------->

You will also catch up on the laws of physics I used to make the Kinemeter a robust tool of measuring velocity and acceleration.

Those who have seen the first part, today I will be showing you the beginning steps in building your own Kinemeter, starting by taking your scrap plastic and cutting it into parts you will need to build the body of your new kinematic device to be.


Step 1: The Design

I made the Kinemeter's design using Adobe Illustrator. If you have illustrator on your computer, you can directly download the designs, shown below, one holding the large parts you will need and another holding small pieces (which are in spares).

AS a maker, I encourage you to feel free to edit and adjust the design to your personal needs.

Once you have your designs, you need to get your plastic. The large pieces can all fit on one sheet of 1 foot by 2 feet of acrylic plastic with 1/8 inch thickness. As for the small pieces, you will need a 1/8 inch thick acrylic plastic 1/2 foot by 1/2 foot. These pieces will give you the space you need to cut your parts. To get these sheets, I went to Everything Plastic.

Visit them here:

After getting your plastic, you will need to go to NextFab Lab, in Philadelphia. You can get an appointment at their website here:

Both places can be found in near proximity of each other in Philadelphia. When cutting your pieces, there will be someone present to assist you if you are new. In the mean time, happy cutting.

Step 2: All of Your Parts

Once you have finished cutting your parts from their respective sheets of plastic, you should have the following types of parts (they are all labeled in the picture above):

Walls: These are what you will place into your base and where you will insert your sensors to track a falling object's motion. These walls are symmetric, so aligning them isn't a problem.

Panel: This is what you will place most of your circuitry onto. This structure will not be permanently attached, making the circuitry removable, in the unlikely event the body breaks.

Base: This is where your walls will be placed into. There are 4 circular holes in it. This allows you to pin your Kinemeter to the wall (freeing your hands when setting up your experiment). Keep in mind this is not symmetric. The top of this Kinemeter is the end with a 1 inch-lip.

Hooks and Supports: These pieces are what you will be using to secure your walls and panels into the base with. Since the laser cutter you used might not be 100% perfect, chances are your walls might be a bit loose in the base, so keep these pieces, you will need them later.

Step 3: And of Course...

If you have the time or desire, make a piece for branding your work so everyone knows who's to thank when seeing your masterpiece.

Step 4: Peel the Plastic

All acrylic plastic comes in a thin covering when you purchase it. When you are cutting your plastic, keep this wrap on, it acts like a protective covering, preventing the real plastic from burning. When the plastic is done being cut, peel the plastic. I found that starting at the corners is the most effective (shown above). When peeling small parts, use another piece of plastic to help scrap off the wrap.

Step 5: Get Ready to Weld

When you are finished peeling, you are going to need a chemical (which can be bought at Everything plastic) called weld-on, this is what you will use to fuse your plastic parts together. Just be careful, this is nasty stuff, so, I don't know, WEAR A PAIR OF GLOVES! Seriously, I care for your safety. Please do me the favor of wearing gloves.

Also make sure you put down a sheet of aluminum foil when you are about to weld. This will keep your project from sticking to the surface. But be careful, after finishing applying the Weld-on, lift up your project to prevent it from being digested.

Step 6: Weld the Wall

When welding the first wall to the base, you first need a tall, flat, heavy object to use as a rest stand for the wall while you are applying the weld-on, as shown in the first image. It is usually good to have a partner watching you, holding the wall so it is perfectly vertical by holding a finger on it.

Make sure the object you are using is thin enough to fit between the two walls as you are welding them. I was lucky that this battery just fits between the walls.

Next, on the outer sides of each wall, rest two of the supports against the wall. Weld them on, and gently press on them while the glue dries. At this point, you do not need an object behind the walls. At some point, your walls should both look like the one in the second image.

Step 7: Just in Case....

If you are not comfortable with the sturdiness of the two walls, then use the remaining two supports and weld them onto the middle insideseach wall, like seen above. Use the same method for the outer supports when pressing against them.

You are now done with your walls.

CONGRATS!! Now lets get going to the slightly more complicated part.

Step 8: Continue or Finish?

Since you want your panel to be removable (in the chance that the body breaks), you can:

A) Directly tape down the panel. In this case, you are finished. Congratulations, you are ready to continue to the third and final part of this large project: the circuitry and code.

B) Make the body such that you can slide the panel in and out of a groove, like I did with my on Kinemeter.

If you have chosen B, then first, you will need a long piece of 1/8 by 1/8 inch balsa wood and 1 hook.

Step 9: Preparing and Welding the Hook

Place the balsa wood up against the two outer supports. This will keep the space you need to slide your panel in and out of. Next, place your first hook up against this piece of wood, like shown in the image above. Push the hook along the length of the wood such that the hook is 1/8 of an inch away from the edge of theBOTTOM of the BASE.

Once you have prepared this, weld on the hook. Be careful not to get it stuck against the balsa wood.

I only did this with one wall, but you are free to do this to both if you want.

Step 10: Finished Slide Mechanism

After you are finished welding on the first hook, use a second hook to weld directly behind the first, giving a longer length of support to keep the panel upright.

Once you are finished with this one wall (or two for some), you will notice the panel slides smoothly when properly placed in the groove where the balsa once was. The only problem is that the panel will slide out completely if it were to be placed in vertically.

Step 11: Vertical Stop

What you want to do is now take a piece of 1/8 inch plastic (between 1-2 inches tall, .25 inches wide) and place it at the end of the bottom hook, where we left the 1/8 inch gap, as seen above.Make sure that when welding the piece on that it is in full support of the base, hook and wall. When vertically placing your Kinemeter, this should stop your panel from falling out.

And there, you have it. By the time you finished this construction, you should be just as happy as I am in this picture.

Step 12: CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you have followed up to this point and have successfully built a proper body, GREAT!! You are halfway through making your own Kinemeter. Halfway from making this (first image) turn into THIS(second image)!!!!!

Stay tuned, loyal followers and makers. Next time, you will see how you can get code for your kinemeter and build the ciruitry for it.

Until then, SEE YOU NEXT TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From yours truly, Gears N' Genes

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    2 Discussions


    4 years ago

    HAPPY BUILDING EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    4 years ago

    Sure thing! The link to the part one is here:

    Also, the first part can be seen on the main page of my instructables under THE KINEMETER: PART 1: A Kinematic Tool. Here, I explain how this machine can actually use known laws of physics to measure Acceleration and velocity.

    See the video on it to get a glimpse of its potential.

    One more thing, after reading this and the first part, how did you enjoy these two parts?