Wood Kit Automata Workshop
A hands-on automata-making workshop for schools and adults using wood, metal, wire and MDF (or in school parlance Resistant Materials)
that introduces and explores the creative power of cams and cranks. Using pre-made components that fit together in a variety of ways, each participant first makes a basic working mechanism with a crank and a camshaft.
This skeletal machine becomes a springboard to experiment with different types of movement and how those movements can be creatively harnessed into a design. By streamlining the process of making the underlying mechanisms, students can concentrate on the mechanisms rather than on the chassis/support structure itself.
Students are encouraged to hack, extend, alter and above all to design and construct more linkages and mechanisms, including cutting out diffferent cam profiles to explore how they can precisely control a moving part.
Time slot: a day. Ideally, the workshop needs a workspace with tools or a space where tools can be set up.
The kits and hands-on experimentatal format were used in BBC 2’s Design Challenge ‘How to Design and Make a Moving Shop Window Display Challenge’. See the video here.