Top 5 Constraints: Solar System Gadget

I am still planning on trying to create the solar system to fit on my desk. After thinking a little more about the project and how I want to accomplish it, I am planning on implementing a steampunk/metallic type of aesthetic. The constraints that I see at the moment are as follows:

  1. Time: Time will be the biggest constraint here. I really want to get a good solid design down before I move on to the manufacturing of this product. However, since I want to use all metal, that will add more time on.
  2. Aesthetic: The steampunk/metallic look will not be to hard to accomplish, however, I probably end up using all metal to complete this project.
  3. Size: Size is one of the biggest constraints that Im putting on my self. I want this to be no bigger than 6in dia. It has to be able to fit on my desk at home which has very little room. Using all metal, also adds to the weight and the stresses that are imparted on the system.
  4. Cost: Metal is not cheap. along with that, the size constraint will really drive up the cost of this too.
  5. Motor and power load: It would be nice to have this not be a plug in gadget. Also, It would be nice to find a good cheap motor that can power nine different gear ratios.
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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Kyle Aulwurm
    March 14, 2017 5:04 pm

    The size one will be the hardest in my opinion. Especially with all the gears having to fit in such a small area. The steampunk aesthetic will be relatively easy as you can mix up the types of metals you use. Brass/copper colored metals mixed in with your standard grey metal would look great and really make the project pop.

  • Jake Silverman
    March 13, 2017 2:02 pm

    A lot of metal shops have scraps in stock that they will sell for very cheap or give for free. I would check out metal super Markets. This could really help with cost.

  • Hi Sam,
    You’re right that metal is not always cheap. One way to help this might be to make it all out the same type of metal, and order a lot of it at once. Also, if you use really small amounts of metal, you could maybe solder it. Shohei made a bike model out of soldered paperclips for his upcycle project, and it looked really cool! Six inches is so tiny! That given you’re just doing our solar system right? You might have to consider which features to keep and which to ignore. You also mentioned that your motor needs nine different gear ratios, is that because all the planets are moving at different speeds? Wow! There are some motors available for projects in the prototyping room in the basement of the ITLL. I don’t know if that’s what you’re looking for, but it might help. Excited to see how your project turns out!


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