6 Aug 2020

Automaton of a horse pedaling bicycle

I have finally finished making my third automaton.

I have been busy these days, but when the CNC router was not in use, I cut all the parts of an automaton. While the CNC router was cutting the parts, I could work for my regular work, making puzzles and it was very time efficient.

Same as before, I used plywood this time because this is a prototype. Plywood will not warp, and it is good for making gears. On the other hand, cheap plywood like I bought does not look very good. I bought plywood at the same shop, and unfortunately, there were variations in quality. Some top boards easily come off and it was a bit awkward.

At first, I drew pictures of the automaton using 3D software. It can be a help to understand each position and also it can export the data for the CNC router. I do not know how other automata creators do, but to me, this method is convenient. After exporting the data, there were several settings and work and then, it was the time for cutting. This is one of the exciting moments.
This is the picture of cutting parts with the CNC router.

I needed some tiny parts and I prepared more than I needed, because tiny parts might be inhaled by a dust extractor after cutting. This is the tiniest part that survived.

After cutting all the parts, I assembled them together. The picture below is gluing the jockey and holding it with a clamp.

I said that I used plywood, but there were two exceptions, one is the base and another one is a carrot. This prototype does not have any colour and looks bland, I wanted different colours. This carrot was made from Jarrah.

This automaton is based on my old online jigsaw puzzle design. A jockey and a horse are riding on a bicycle and the jockey is holding a fishing rod that has a carrot on the end, and the horse is pedaling the bicycle instead of running. The horse's eyes are, of course, chasing the carrot.

After I made this automaton, I thought that I could also make another version of this. The horse that sits on the bicycle can be replaced with a rabbit. Replace the carrot with a wad of bills and the horse can be changed to a human.

I am mostly satisfied with the result of the automaton. I made the jockey's leg so that it can be wagged, but the automaton does not vibrate as I thought, and it does not wag at all. It was a miscalculation.

Unexpectedly, there is one that is satisfied with the automaton more than I am, it is my cat. He loves punching the carrot very much. He is not interested in some toys I bought for him, but he loves the carrot. It was another of my miscalculations. I put the automaton out of reach of the cat for safety.

Thanks for reading and watching the video.