Make Architecture



Assignment 8~ Motion Mechanics

Motion Mechanics

Lifting the Bucket

For motion mechanics assignment I started out by figuring out the gears which is something i have always heard about but never really tried to make one in real. It sounds easy but it isn’t at least in my case. So, my main aim was to make it work and figure out the parameters that need to be considered. Hence i made “lifting the bucket

How its made..

Materials used:

  • MDF 0.5″ thick
  • rounded wooden sticks (for axes)
  • bucket
  • string to tie the bucket with
  • glue gun
  • rubber spacers and washers to avoid friction
  • motor

Equipment: CNC milling machine


Design the gears using the gear plugin in Rhino (makes life much easier). In the plugin Rhino will make gears according to the specifications you give keeping in mind to have the gear teeth to match with the other gears created you need the pitch circle to be the same for all of them which is the distance between each tooth of the gear.  For my gear design i controlled the pitch circle and the number of teeth. Before i had cut my design in CNC i tired cutting it in a thin cardboard using laser cutter just to make sure it would work.

The gears were assembled and powered by the motor.

Lesson learnt:

  • The connection between the motor and the gear could have been done better. As for this one the  motor wasn’t in contact fully with the gear and also the torque wasn’t enough to move the gears.

Improvements– the Gear – motor connection could be improved by laser cutting the D shape of the motor on to ac acrylic or other material and then glued or screwed on to the main gear.


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Instructor: Nick Gelpi TA: Skylar Tibbits TA: Varvara Toulkeridou
Class Times, Monday, 1-4pm - room 5-216
4.184 is an intensive introduction to methods of making explored through a wide range of brief but focused 1-week exercises. We'll engage the real and leave behind representation in the focused context of this class gaining skills for utilizing a range of fabrication machines and technologies from lasercutting, waterjet, 3D printing, welding, formworking-molding, casting, gears, joints and composites.
In this workshop we'll constrain ourselves to the territory of the 1:1. Students will represent architectural constructions at full scale and develop a more intimate relationship with technology by engaging the tools and techniques that empower us. We will gain access to the most cutting edge machines and technologies in the MARS lab at the Center for Bits and Atoms.
The second layer of information for this course will be to look at a series of case studies in which construction methods and technologies have played a dominant role in the design process .
Over the past 20 years, architects have focused on the technology of representation to create new ideas of what architecture could be. Looking back today, much of that research failed to substantially change the way we design buildings by focusing on apriori formal configurations. This class makes the contention that this failure comes from a lack of considerations of the potentials within fabrication knowledge. We look to the future of what building might become, given the expanded palette of personalize-able technologies available to us as architects. Students will participate in curious technological and material investigations, to discover the potentials, known and unknown, for these various technologies.
The sub-disciplines of what's drawn and what's built have been compartmentalized and disassociated as the representational tools of architecture have distanced themselves from the techniques of making. At the same time the technologies for “making” in architecture have provided us with new possibilities for reinventing how we translate into reality, the immaterial representations of architecture.


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