Friction and Split Crankshafts

Having finally worked out the insanity of one problem I’m now faced with more dilemmas with my current artwork in progress. If I had £1 for every hour I spent trying to solve this nightmare I’d be so rich I wouldn’t need to continue. To begin with I had problems trying to turn the rotational movement created by the hip and knee pivots into vertical motion. (The solution was to create two extra pivots around the eye screw) and now I’m faced with the problem of friction.

Each moving joint in this piece creates a friction which is currently overcoming any downward force provided by the machine. This means as the handle is turned the legs go up but they don’t return back down again. I solved the problem of the vertical middle leg by removing friction altogether. I dislocated the knee joint and reattached it with thread. Meanwhile a massive counterweight acts to pull it back down into position.

The outer legs are trickier with more joints and angles to overcome. I know I could completely disassemble the crankshaft and create a split mechanism to pull it back into position. The more I seem to take apart the more it seems to create problems. The simplicity of the machines serves to enhance the delicacy of the artwork. I shouldn’t have to resort to split crankshafts at this late stage in the design. (Although that gives me a thought for the next machine).

If I consider the outer legs in the same way as the centre leg by removing the joints and reattaching using thread I’m in danger of compromising the integrity of the structure. I’ve tried greasing the leg joints but it’s not something they really thought of when designing Barbie dolls so they have remained pretty tight. Counterweights seem to be the only way to make these complex problems simpler and to end this nearly completed artwork.

See more of my completed machines from my Automata range HERE.

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