Assignment 3: Kinetic Sculpture

My project is a kinetic sculpture. I had a lot of fun with this and spent way more time than I probably should have. The concept was about changing a physical form by switching the rotation of a motor.

My initial idea was to use string to put some object into tension and cause motion, but that was really difficult to control with a dc motor (though it probably would have been fine with a stepper motor). I then thought about how I might be able to flip a piece of paper with different colors on each side to convey a change in emotion via a shift in color. When I started to experiment with this I realized that the speed of the motor made it difficult to discern between color states, but that led me to stumble upon the form-changing aspects of this project.

Getting this piece to perform the way I wanted it to was incredibly difficult. There were a large number of variables, things were imprecise, and debugging was a major pain. In the end, I was able to elicit a very specific behavior out of the machine, but I think earlier versions filmed much better, though the final product looks quite nice in person and is much cleaner when not in motion than the others were.

Below is some process.

First success with a motor:

First success with a change in form:

Some iterations:

Final product:

Iterations of different components:


(uploaded to google drive because WP would not let me upload with the current filesize)

2 thoughts on “Assignment 3: Kinetic Sculpture”

  1. Hi,
    I really like the documentation for your project, as you managed to show all the different iterations of each component of the kinetic sculpture. I was also like your idea, and how you used random pieces of paper and a servo with rapid prototyped discs to generate a visual. I was, however, confused as to which emotions you were trying to depict and how you were going about it (I could not make the connection between the change in colour and new emotion). Overall, I thought the project was neat and executed well.

  2. I was really impressed by your project- I can’t even imagine how many prototypes you must’ve gone through to get it to where it is. However, like the previous reply, I’m not sure how your sculpture conveys emotion. At this stage, I think it is too abstract and it would benefit from personification. Perhaps you could make the sculpture imply some sort of face, or use it to explore other aspects of how emotion is displayed (heartbeats, fidgeting, etc.).

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