Rolling Ball Sculpture

December 12th, 2013

This is a running log of my progress on the new RBS. I designed the motorized lift mechanism in an earlier blog post, but I’ll show the animation again for completeness sake.

Animation of Mechanical Ball Lift

I used the Linkage program to design this. It was handy to be able to step through the motion and then make small adjustments where needed. The two ball holders need to be in the exact same spot at the exact same time in two dimensions, or the ball won’t transfer smoothly.

I started experimenting with construction of the lift mechanism. I usually use bronze brazing rod, but I’ve switched to some sort of nickel-based product so that the braze joints are a similar color to the steel. I on;y brazed on two of the three connectors on one piece so far. It can be seen below with my calipers in the picture for scale.

image

Link Prototype and Some Parts

I’m not totally pleased with the braze joint, but with the human eye a few feet away, it looks much smoother than in the picture. There will be a connector on the right side that matches the connector on the left. This is one of the few simple links. Others are more triangular in the connector layout, and a few need to have a pair of rods with space between them for links like this one.

I will add more as the project progresses.

One Response to “Rolling Ball Sculpture”

  1. markS says:

    Friend of mine just had to get his hazardous handling materials license and we both discovered that Nickel is quite dangerous if ingested as fumes or in powdered form. Esp Cancer risk.
    You might not know.

    http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg351.pdf

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