My vision for this project was to combine elements of the whimsical and steampunk aesthetics to create a mechanical wooden puzzle. The whimsical elements would be displayed through the design and embellishments of the carousel and the steampunk aesthetic would be carried through in the exposed mechanical pieces. In the end, I was not able to make it a puzzle that could be taken apart and put back together. As for the rest of the design, I feel as though I kept to my original vision with it being whimsical and able to turn like a real carousel.


For this project, I was heavily inspired by mechanical wooden puzzles. There are a lot of great examples of this online. These puzzles are able to be assembled and taken apart while still being able to retain their mechanical function. There are many different types of these puzzles ranging from very intricate to fairly simple. Here are a few of the puzzles that I took inspiration from:

I was also heavily inspired by real life examples of the steampunk aesthetic that I have seen before such as the he Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen in Universal Orlando.

I loved the idea of incorporating these two aesthetics to create a magical vintage feel to my project. Once I decided the type of project and aesthetic I wanted, I chose to do a carousel. Carousels are already very whimsical and childlike by nature. Because I wanted to make something that would be mechanical and incorporate gears, this also lent itself well to my vision. I began to do some research on mechanical wooden carousels to see how I would create the whimsical embellishments as well as how I would get the mechanical pieces to function. These designs were a lot more detailed than the one I ended up creating, but they were great to figure out how the pieces would fit and what would give it the whimsical aesthetic. In addition, I also included two images: one being an inspiration for the gear structure and another being an inspiration for the horse pieces.

Mechanical Wooden Model - Carousel 137 Pcs
Wooden Mechanical Carousel by UGears |
Pony Clipart Images – Browse 14,073 Stock Photos, Vectors, and Video | Adobe Stock

Initial Design

As I started to design my carousel, I tried to take elements of all of these inspirations.

I then made a design in Autodesk Fusion 360. This was my first iteration I made that would show how the basic mechanics of the project would work.







My final design in CAD included all of the embellishments that I feel gave it the whimsical aesthetic. I also added the horses at this point.

Final Product

While I was not able to make it a puzzle like I originally intended, I still believe it retained all of my other goals and visions. It works as a functional turning carousel and has many elements of whimsy and steampunk. I love how the gears are exposed to show the inner workings. I also ended up staining the pieces to give it a more finished and professional look. Overall, I think it met my original vision and was able to be mechanical as intended.

Video of finished product:



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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Sophia Montie
    April 28, 2024 10:11 pm

    Hi Aryan,

    Yes, I would love to make future iterations of this being a puzzle. My flaw in the original design was that I did not measure the exact thickness of my material before designing it. This is why all of the pieces fit super loosely and not snuggly. Because they were so loose, it make the project flimsy and not be able to stand up.

  • Hey Sophia, your artifact looks really pretty! Your project showcases a strong vision and inspiration drawn from mechanical wooden puzzles and the steampunk aesthetic, which is clearly reflected in your final design. The incorporation of whimsical elements and the carousel theme, along with exposed gears, effectively conveys the desired vintage magical feel. Your use of Autodesk Fusion 360 to develop and iterate on your design demonstrates a structured approach to realizing your vision. The final product, while not a puzzle, successfully functions as a turning carousel with aesthetic embellishments that align with your initial goals. Considering your original intention to create a mechanical wooden puzzle, have you thought about incorporating elements of disassembly and reassembly into future iterations of your design?


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