My final project was a mechanical flower that opens and closes using a rack and pinion gear, in the featured image, the center part is the rack, and each petal has a pinion attached. The goal was that when one of the petals moved, all of them would move together. Below is some of the concept CAD models.
The project was done entirely on SolidWorks, including the initial drafts of the art. Unfortunately the iterations I made were lost with time since I didn’t create a new part every time I made a new iteration.
These images show the open and closed versions of the flower. Originally it was planned for the flower to open when the surroundings were dark, and close when they were bright. This design choice changed when the part had a more difficult time printing than expected. The printer that I was using had a very small printing bed, which required the petals to be printed in the wrong orientation. Putting the manufacturing challenges aside, the result of it was a change in the scope of my project. I ended up narrowing it to be mechanically opened and closed, instead of automatically. Another flaw with the previous printing method was the brittle state of the material. I believe the following image will clarify what I mean:
When I’m trying to show is that there was a chip in the contact point between the rack and pinion. Both pieces lost part of their gear teeth. The stresses were too strong for this type of material which is why I made it out of a more durable plastic instead. This revised version came in a black plastic material, which was perfect for my design. I always wanted to do a star like speckling on the exterior of the petals. Here is the effect of that.
The design came out pretty well, however the aesthetic doesn’t make as much sense now that the flower is no longer automated. Initially, the flower was designed to open at night when it was dark, it was a moonlight flower in a sense. That’s why I thought the star like speckling would be beneficial to the aesthetic.