Monday, June 26, 2017

Other Peoples' Kits & Instructions

From time to time, I build kits from other makers and share my feedback. It's a great experience, and every maker's kits are elevated by the experience of trading information about how they assemble.

We all approach instructions differently, and solve some of the making problems with differing talents. Instructions are often difficult to make and difficult to follow, so any advancement in this realm is a benefit to everyone. For instance, I include tiny instructions with Tinysaurs, naturally, so I put 3D instructions online in an effort to clarify some questions I was receiving about assembly.

Ronald Nelson of Induku Design makes amazing wood items. I got his Strandbeest and his Schrödinger's cat in a box. (My wife has asked me to put a spot of glue on the cat so that we can preserve the uncertainty.) His version of the Strandbeest is amazing and elegant. He has a great write-up of his development process and the original giant creation by Theo Jansen here.

The arrangement of gears creates a massive amount of torque from wind or finger power to overcome the imperfections of my assembly. I've attempted to make many all-wood mechanical laser cut things over the years, but have been unsuccessful without smooth machined parts. Ronald's Strandbeest kit has inspired me to keep trying.

Nice packaging. Feels like opening a gift.

Cut sheets, dowels, and a well-written instruction booklet that's easy to follow.

Separating pieces and sanding the sprues.

I put all the small parts into a tray. A pill diary or some small bowls would work too.

Ready to assemble!

Gear train complete. It's really cool to work the axels at this point.

Assembling the critter's legs.

Lots of spare parts in case you drop one under somewhere or break one.

 (H)air power! Strandbeest likes hair driers.