Project Sheet
Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner #1

created July 29 – September 15, 2020

View the YouTube video here.

View the Disassembly for Paint document here.

September 15, 2020: Creation is completed
Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner #1


Done!  Now for the hard part, I’ve got to market the three product spinners.

This past couple of weeks has gone by quickly.  Painting takes focus, and then there is the drying time, which is both important and frustrating.

After I reassembled, the drive mechanism proved unreliable.  The drive belt was storing energy and releasing it when one of the couplings passed around one of the pulleys.  I have replaced the drive belt with a plastic drive chain and all is well.  I’ve not used a plastic drive chain in this kind of situation but I think that it will be fine…the chain will be doing very little work…just a tiny amount.

As I’ve been creating this automata  I have on order a Prusa Mini 3D printer.  It will arrive here in the first couple of weeks of October.  So I’ve been looking at what I’m doing and what I need in anticipation of being able to create some of the components with the 3D printer.

I’ve concluded that I’ll be able to build to tighter tolerances with the 3D printer.  For example, the ratchet mechanism that I created from wood (in this automata) would be better 3D printed, I think.  It would be more uniform and more perfect.  Also, the pulleys will be able to be 3D printed, and the motor mounts, and etc.  I’m excited to get the printer.  The filaments that I’ll be working with initially will be PETG and PLA with carbon fiber.  There are many filaments available. It’s exciting and I’m looking forward to learning this new tool.

Here is the biped head. They are all different.
September 15, 2020.
I’ve replaced the poly belts with drive chain. This chain does not store (and release) energy like the drive belt was doing. 15 September 2020
Creation of Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner #1 is completed. 15 September 2020.
Here are the three primary Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner modules. Not pictured is the display platform. September 7, 2020

 

 

September 2, 2020: Wet Paint
Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner #1


Well, I’ve had the biped mounted in position and the display platform in place and the automata operates well.  There are about 15 hours on the clock.

So, I’ve disassembled and begun painting everything.  And of course, the biped needs to be completed.

As I type this most everything has been painted and is now in the drying stage.  I’m working the paint details on the biped at the moment.

My process for painting is approximately this:

  • I fill voids and imperfections with patch material.  It goes on pink and turns white when it is dry.
  •  I then sand with 80 and 120 and 150.  I use a combination of sanding sticks and squares of sandpaper.  The sanding sticks I obtain from the beauty supply store.  My favorite sanding sticks are 100/180 grit.
  • Then I prime with a grey spray primer.
  • Then sand with 150 and perhaps 220
  • Sometimes more patch material and sometimes another coat of primer.
  • Then paint, either spray paint or hand brushed acrylic.  Let dry.
  • Usually, I will then sand 220 and apply a second and perhaps third coat of paint.
  • Then dry.  This is a frustrating time for me.  Drying time should be several days at least.  The longer the better.

Sometime this coming week I’ll begin to reassemble this automata.  Then a video.

Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner #1 has been disassembled and is being painted. 2 September 2020

18 August 2020:  The mechanism is running
Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner #1


With the exception of the biped and the display platform, the mechanism is functioning.  In the base, you see the motor, the cams, and followers.  Above the base, you see the stair-stepping levers and the ratchet assembly.  The motion train is: the motor provides rotary motion, which the cams convert to linear motion.  The stair-stepping levers transmit the linear motion to the ratchet assemblies, which in turn convert the motion back to rotary motion.  Each time a stair-stepping lever is pushed down the output shaft rotates 1/4 turn.  Simple.

All in all, I’m pleased with how this is operating.  It is quiet, smooth, and strong.  The electrics module has also been completed.  It is on the backside (thus out of sight in this image).

The next steps will be to mount the biped and the display platter.

This is the functioning stair-stepping mechanism. It’s quiet and smooth and strong…yea! Next up is the installation of the biped onto the stairs, and then the display platform. 18 August 2020.

15 August 2020: The Modules are being completed
Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner #1


Those of you with sharp eyes will note that I’ve constructed a new base and drive frame.  The initial base and drive frame were a bit too small.

The electrics module is complete and functioning with the exception of the hour meter which is scheduled to arrive day after tomorrow.  

The drive frame contains the motor, the steps, the ratchets and biped (laying in front of it at the moment).

Yet to complete are the ratchet return springs and the platter drive mechanism.
And of course other decorative things, like arms.
I’m pleased that I’ve learned how to create automata in a modular fashion.  For example, this automata will have all of the moving mechanisms in the one module, with the exception of the actual connection which will drive the display platter.  This makes the creation, tuning, and ongoing servicing much easier.  Components are much more visible and accessible. 
The Stair Stepper Bottle Spinner modules are being completed. Clockwise from left: The Electrics module (it’s missing the hour meter), the drive frame, the base, the biped, and the ratchet assembly. August 15, 2020.

9 August 2020: Creating the Base
Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner #1


The end result is to be a bottle rotated by a biped that is stepping on levers, as in a stair stepper kind of machine.  This will all be powered by an electric motor that will not be visible.

Structurally, there will be a base into which the electrics are mounted.  The drive frame will also sit in the base.  The drive frame will be removable.  The biped will sit on the drive frame…thus the entire ‘automata’ (motor and all) will be removable from the base so that it can be serviced.

I rough out the size of the base on foam-core. August 5, 2020.
The assembly of the Stair Stepper Bottle Spinner #1 base is started. The ‘drive frame’ will be hung from the insert that sits at the bottom of this image. August 7, 2020
And as of August 9, 2020, I’ve created this much of Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner #1.

 

 

 

 

31 July 2020: The Biped is Born
Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner #1


The end result is a rotating bottle.  To achieve the end result a biped will step on levers in a stair stepper kind of motion.  Each time he steps down the driveshaft will rotate 1/2 turn.  A rachet will translate the linear motion to rotary.

I’ve not created a ratchet assembly before so I’m having to experiment, build, teardown, rebuild.  I think that I’ve finally got a design that will be long-lasting.

This mechanism is an example of what I believe I will be using my (yet to be ordered) 3d printer for.  I believe that the 3d printer, when coupled with the correct filament, will be able to create these parts at a higher level of quality (than I can).
Joint detail. July 31, 2020
The biped is being created. August 4, 2020

 

 

 

29 July 2020: The Ratchet Mechanism
Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner #1


The end result is a rotating bottle.  To achieve the end result a biped will step on levers in a stair stepper kind of motion.  Each time he steps down the driveshaft will rotate 1/2 turn.  A rachet will translate the linear motion to rotary.

I’ve not created a ratchet assembly before so I’m having to experiment, build, teardown, rebuild.  I think that I’ve finally got a design that will be long-lasting.

This mechanism is an example of what I believe I will be using my (yet to be ordered) 3D printer for.
The ratchet assemblies are mounted on their axle, ready for mounting on the drive frame. August 5, 2020.
The ratchet assembly becomes one unit…so it must be painted at this point…before assembly. July 31, 2020
The ratchet assembly ‘innards’ are on display here. July 29, 2020.

 

 

25 July 2020: The Concept
Stair Stepping Bottle Spinner #1


These are unpredictable times right now.  Thus far I have created two product spinners.  One is three-tier and the other is two-tier.  I had them set up and running next to each other on my workbench and thought to myself…I need a one-tier bottle spinner.  So instead of taking the two existing product spinners out into public and trying to find brick and mortar establishments that would like to rent them, I’m taking the time to create one more…a bottle spinner.  This will allow me to demo three product spinners at one time.  A prospective customer will have a choice.
The mechanism will be a sort of stair stepper.  I’ve not created one of these before so need to work out the details.  Time will tell how good an idea this is.
The Peddler Drive Frame has been sheathed with Myrtlewood and Pistachio ‘planks’. 26 June 2020
Two Tier product spinning automata nearing completion. 7 May 2020