As another project is completed another one if not a few are surely already in the dream/conceptualize stage. I recently became fascinated by the seemingly pure notion of perpetual motion and the pursuit of it. Almost as if these inventors were chasing a Unicorn. The laws of physics simply won’t allow a free energy system…So the question shifts from, Can we achieve it? Into, How close can we come, and what can it be used for? DaVinci’s sketches of his “perpetual motion machines,” i’ll use quotations here because he probably never made them, are exceedingly interesting. Something about the craft of the drawings and the mind frame he must have been in intrigues me. I’ll duplicate them and try to get them to work with the interaction of a human user. In the end this is where my true interests are, simply; How can I get a system to work efficiently and how will a user interact with it on all sensory levels? For these machines, as with my last couple, cycles will be started by the introduction of counterweight upon the system. The user becomes the start up energy needed and in a way pays for the show they are going to receive.
I think I am going to start with this drawing first and add to it my own system for starting the cycle. This drawing is depicting a captured weight on a track, but the same basic uneven wheel will drive my concept. Ill utilize a weight captured in the negative “orange slice” space. Might keep this initial one more on side of letting functional needs drive the aesthetic of the piece. Simpler without so much lipstick might do these pieces well and highlight some of the intricacies of the moving parts.
The video at the top highlights this motion I am talking about around 4:00 minutes.
I do most of my sketching on the computer in a cad program that way I can cut out router templates or parts using CNC machines or the laser cutter.
Here are some screen shots of the drawings.
I’m no scientist or mathematician but I think I have a slight understanding of the basic geometry of the system. A set of two equilateral triangles mirrored upon themselves with lines running from tip to midpoint of the opposite line. The intersection should mark the center of of the piece. These lines will dictate the path of the weight away from the center. The increased length away increases the amount that specific weight actually weighs in comparison to its counterpart directly across from it with respect to the axle. I believe this only works however because of the half moon shape in the return. I think its shape lowers the equilibrium line for that side only and allows the weight(in this part of the cycle) to essentially change its weight as it moves closer to the axle. The bearings will have to be very precise in their positioning. Any lopsidedness will rob energy from the system and thus runtime.
Anything can really fill the spaces around the orange slices, they are the nuts and bolts. I’ve added lines that will create an interesting effect when a set is put on directly behind this set. The other set will be flipped, or mirrored and the cycle will look like it’s happening in the wrong direction. It will be going in the opposite direction true, but it’s all relative because if you walk around to the other side of the piece you’d say the same thing.
Holes for doweling wrapped in copper spacers will add dimension and not material.
Pie shapes to fit inside of our laser cutter.