Tag Archives: mechanism

Work in progress: Paper mechanism


I am currently working on a new project which will be an animated / kinetic model, a bit similar to the multiplication machine. I have to say, a kinetic model with its moving parts is at least an order of magnitude more difficult and time consuming than a static model. Here are pictures of various prototypes and tests:


2015-02-06 16.26.32


2015-05-09 10.13.26 2015-02-14 23.26.50

The templates are cut out using a cutting plotter (a Silhouette Portrait, for that matter):

2015-02-14 23.26.58

Even with the printer, it’s quite a bit of work, as the mechanism is somewhat complicated and needs a lot of iterations to get it quite right.

The problem, with paper-based mechanisms, is not so much to get something that works in general, but to get something that works every time, all the time. Paper tends to get stuck, to bend, to tear, when put under pressure. As such, it’s not the ideal material for mechanical things, but at the same time it’s vastly more accessible and needs much simpler tools than traditional materials such as wood and steel.

As for what this project will look like in the end, it’s still a secret. But if you are really curious, register for my newsletter, and I will tell you as soon as it’s ready to see the light of day.