Category Archives: Mechanisms

Humanoid Robot Has Joints that Inspire

One of the challenges with humanoid robots, besides keeping them upright, is finding compact combinations of actuators and joint mechanisms that allow for good range of smooth motion while still having good strength. To achieve that researchers from the IRIM Lab at Korea University of Technology and Education developed the …read more

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Posted in actuator, cable mechanism, humanoid robot, Mechanisms, robotics, robots hacks, skynet | Leave a comment

New Contest: 3D Printed Gears, Pulleys, and Cams

One of the killer apps of 3D printers is the ability to make custom gears, transmissions, and mechanisms. But there’s a learning curve. If you haven’t 3D printed your own gearbox or automaton, here’s a great reason to take the plunge. This morning Hackaday launched the 3D Printed Gears, Pulleys, and Cams contest, a challenge to make stuff move using 3D-printed mechanisms.

Adding movement to a project brings it to life. Often times we see projects where moving parts are connected directly to a server or other motor, but you can do a lot more interesting things by adding some …read more

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Posted in 3d printed, 3d Printer hacks, automata, cams, classic hacks, contests, gear box, gears, Hackaday Columns, Mechanisms, Original Art, pulleys | Leave a comment

Mechanisms: Solenoids

Since humans first starting playing with electricity, we’ve proven ourselves pretty clever at finding ways to harness that power and turn it into motion. Electric motors of every type move the world, but they are far from the only way to put electricity into motion. When you want continuous rotation, a motor is the way to go. But for simpler on and off applications, where fine control of position is not critical, a solenoid is more like what you need. These electromagnetic devices are found everywhere and they’re next in our series on useful mechanisms.

A Coil and a Plunger

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Posted in Mechanisms, Original Art, plunger, rotary, shading, snubber, solenoid, spring | Leave a comment

Mechanisms: Velcro

As a species, we’ve done a pretty good job at inventing some useful devices. But as clever as we think we are, given sufficient time, natural selection will beat us at our game at almost every turn. So it makes sense that many of our best inventions are inspired by nature and the myriad ways life finds to get DNA from one generation to the next.

Velcro is one such design cribbed from nature, and the story behind this useful mechanism is a perfect example that a prepared mind, good observation skills, and a heck of a lot of perseverance …read more

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Posted in hook and loop, Mechanisms, nylon, textile, velcro | Leave a comment

Mechanisms: the Spring

Most people probably don’t think about springs until one kinks up or snaps, but most of the world’s springs are pretty crucial. The ones that aren’t go by the name Slinky.

We all use and encounter dozens of different types of springs every day without realizing it. Look inside the world of springs and you’ll find hundreds of variations on the theme of bounce. The principle of the spring is simple enough that it can be extended to almost any shape and size that can be imagined and machined. Because it can take so many forms, the spring as a …read more

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Posted in Hooke's law, Interest, Mechanisms, Original Art, parts, Slinky, spring, torsion, torsion spring, volute | Leave a comment