When I was initially thinking of ideas for my final project, I was drawn to making a mechanically programmed sculpture after seeing a video on Youtube Shorts from JBV create where he created a mechanically programmed ball bearing sculpture, as seen below:
Based on the video above, my initial idea was to create a CU logo where the logo moves in and out of view as the camshaft spins. The aesthetic I planned for this idea was a clean, minimalist look with a monotone color like black, gold, slate grey, or white. My second thought was to have the phrase “Sko Buffs” that also moves in and out, and I would design it with a similar aesthetic as the CU logo as being clean and sleek. I could combine those two ideas so the CU logo appears in view first, and “Sko Buffs” appears in view second and continues to swap places as the camshaft spins.
After some more research into mechanically programmed designs, I came upon a laser-cut wooden horse that moves the legs as if the horse was running when you spin the crank, as seen in the video below.
For this idea, I would instead design it to be a buffalo running as I’m going for it to be CU themed to have as a souvenir for when I graduate. I would attach the driven gear to a stepper motor or crankshaft to drive the buffalo. I think the most challenging part of this idea will be designing the linkages so the running looks realistic.
With these ideas, I decided to pursue creating a mechanically programmed buffalo that runs as you rotate the crank. My vision for this buffalo is for it to be a display piece that easily fits on a desk or shelf that is a CU keepsake for when I graduate that I could show my family and kids one day. Some of the specifications that I am applying to this project are that it must be able to be used easily with the twist of a crank or with a stepper motor, it must not stick out like a sore thumb with my aesthetic, it must match the black and gold aesthetic of CU, I want the materials must be able to last for years as I want to keep this for a long time to show my children later.
Currently, I haven’t been able to spend time on the CAD design as I’ve been spending most of my time on my senior design project as we are in the debugging and test phase. I am planning on spending time tomorrow (Thursday 4/6) on the CAD design with taking inspiration from the video above. I am also planning on making it out of 1/8″ plywood that I am going to laser cut in the idea forge. My timeline is to try to complete the physical design of the project by the end of next week.