The Horse Wobbler




Introduction: The Horse Wobbler

I recently completed the build of my first cnc machine, A shapeoko 2! I made a few immediate mods whilst building. It's size has been stretched up to a 100 x 84cm base, i've used nema23's and added a few dust guards and reinforcements, I'm using a tinyG board to make the motors do as they should and a makita router for the cutting..

I could chat about shapeoko for hours but i'll spare you all of that as plenty of other people have covered builds and anyhow, i came here to talk about making horses wobble . .

In the hours following the first successful test cutting i was struck by some kind of creative block or bottle neck; despite having spent years dreaming of owning my own cnc router i couldn't decide what to do first. I had folders of files but nothing jumped out at me as being the "first" thing i should cut.. So i called down the stairs to my girlfriend and said "hey what should i make with this amazing machine?" there was a pause then the word "HORSES" was yelled at me. (A slight backstory on this is we both draw each other really poor pictures of horses quite often)

So i decided the best way to overcome the overwhelming power of this incredible machine was to use it to make something really silly. I figured i'd draw a daft horse and make a badge or something then start making sensible stuff. However when i'd drawn and scanned a horse it looked a little boring just sat alone in an otherwise blank inkscape window. So i drew another.. then asked my girlfriend to draw a couple, in no time we had four horses! four pretty darn handsome horses! I then felt a weird pang of responsibility not just to the horses but to my girlfriend, i mean she had just let me spend all of my money on a random pile of electrical goods and overtake half the house with box's and sawdust, I felt this had to be good. but also a little silly, a daft blip in an otherwise very sensible plan to make sensible things.

Just making four horses wouldn't cut it, so I decided to make them wobble a bit! (i know, i know i could have made them dance or something, but there is something really funny about something that looks like it's going to be amazing but is just averagely underwhelming (I think so anyway))

So the horse wobbler was born, if you would like to make your own then this is the instructable for you!

Step 1: Cutting Bits

I started by making a cup of tea and having some peanut butter ontoast (this step is not that important, but it helped)

I then started trying to remember the workings of an amazing machine id seen as a kid in covent garden (london) It had this giant handle you could turn, the handle operated a series of cams and screw gears that made a small model of a young boy climb up a ladder walk across a type rope and then pour a small bucket of water into a funnel, the water ran down the funnel into a bowl which inturn operated another set of gears that allowed the young boy to return back down the ladder and into his house.

I soon realised that this was more complicated than necessary and decided to just go with a very simple cam setup.

Basically each horse is on a cam that makes it wobble, Everyone that has played with the finished wobbler has asked if the horses race each other, they don't they just wobble, one of them hardly even moves it makes me laugh constantly..

I drew up the parts in inkscape and used makercam to generate the Gcode, I use cool term to connect to the tinyG

I have attached an EPS file (eps is good right? everyone can convert eps to pretty much anything needed right?)

I used a 2mm milling bit to cut all the pieces. I used a material called FOAMEX it's the stuff most shop signs are made from, it's a little like perspex but much softer, you can cut it and bend it with very little effort, It's perfect for prototyping stuff or making silly things. It's also pretty cheap, Or free! I recommend going to the closest sign company and asking if they have any old foamex signs or offcuts laying about, they will probably give you tons of the stuff!

As with any materials cut a test piece with caution at first! i generally cut foamex with a 2mm bit in 2mm step downs at a speed of about 800 or 900mm/minute

You could use any material to make your own wobbler, the files i've attached were designed for 5mm thick plastic, wood would work even better! you will have to adjust some tabs if using a different thickness material but please feel free to modify the files anyway you like! id love to see pictures if you make your own!

Step 2: Joining Bits

I should have taken more pictures! i kept thinking i'll take it apart in a bit and then i'll take build pictures, but what actually happened was my girlfriend and i just ended up painting it all, the paint worked like glue so now it's all in one bit . .

It's a very simple design with tabs to hold it all together the only parts that should need any glue are the cams.

Once you have the parts cut, find the 12 cams and glue 3 of them together, then do it again 3 times so you have 4 sets of 3, then you can thread them onto a stick (i forgot to mention the sticks! you need 2 sticks! i used the type unwieldy tomato plants rely on for support) Glue the cams together (spin each set round so they are all offset from each other a little)

Now is a really good time to paint everything, I think you could use just about anything for this, crayons, spray paint, water colours, emulsion, acrylic, make up, car paint, you could cut out the faces from magazines and stick them on every surface like some kind of ill tempered lsd nightmare, We used one shot sign paint and it seemed to work pretty well!

The rest of the assembly is quite simple, i could explain it all, but i think the pictures seem to show most of it quite well, think of it as a kind of jigsaw puzzle! the bits all slot together, it's fun!

Step 3: The Wobbling

So hopefully you have assembled your wobbler correctly. now is a good time to make another cup of tea and wash all the bits of magazine and glue from your face and hair.

It's wobbling time!

go on turn the handle!

look at them! look at them wobble!

show your friends! show your mum! show me!

many thanks for reading!, please comment and ask about all the things i've inevitably forgotten to mention, If you enjoyed this rambling excuse for an instructable please vote for me to win a 3d printer!!

if you were offended by my apparently poor grasp of correct grammar or spelling please accept my apologies, im not great at that stuff.

Incidentally i could have uploaded a video of the horses wobbling, but really, it's more fun to see your own wobble!

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    4 Discussions


    5 years ago

    Love to see a video in action as well.

    I'ld give you 2 votes if I could, just for your 'having a bit of yarn over a cup of tea' narration style


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    +1 — This is absolutely adorable, ceramicwhale. I want to see a video! Or at least an animated GIF.

    Also, thanks for including the backstory on why you chose horses. Very cute. :)