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IndustryArena Forum > Other Machines > Machine Created Art > Kinetic Yard Art Project
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Kinetic Yard Art Project

    I'm getting ready to get back into my shop to continue work on my V4 engine project since the Texas heat here is finally starting to die down some. I usually work on larger outdoor projects during the summer, but this past summer I designed and built a piece of kinetic art in a rear corner of our yard that you might find interesting. A Youtube video that I made of it running (during a rainstorm, in fact) is located here:

    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7tD3K_YKBc"]YouTube - Kinetic yard art.MP4[/nomedia]

    The two spinners are 54" in diameter and the whole piece of art is fabricated from 303 stainless bar and .030" copper sheet that I have had laying around for some 20 years. Each spinner rotates on a pair of sealed ball bearings and the whole assembly rotates on a pair of radial/thrust ball bearings. I was able to achieve a balance such that 5 grams of weight on any arm will cause either spinner to rotate a quarter revolution to a stable position at the bottom of its rotation.
    The interesting part from a machining perspective, though, might be the way I formed the compound copper cups at the ends of the arms. I used SolidWorks to design the positive half of the mold and then mirrored it with a .060" offset to create the negative half. Sprutcam created the toolpaths. The mold halves were machined from glued up blocks of red oak that I had laying around. Total machining time was about 1 hour per side as I was able to feed close to the limits of the machine. I had plastic garbage bags taped around the workpiece to keep the wood shavings from making a mess in the chip tray. And the cutter inadvertently caught one of these and made things exciting for a while. After annealing the copper blanks with an acetylene torch I used my homemade 20 ton press to press out the 16 cups. The cups are about 17" long by 6" wide by 1.5" deep. The mold was also used as a drilling jig for the fasteners that secure the cups to the SS arms. - Terry
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Machining pos side of mold_.JPG   Machining neg side of mold_.JPG   Completed Oak Molds_.JPG   Pressing copper blanks_.JPG  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Great work! Looks like an inspired project.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Oh nice!!

    THAT is nice. Very well done, there!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Great project. I couldn't tell from the video, does the drag on the cups keep them aligned with the wind?

    I used the same design intent to make pressure molds for a longboard company. I then machined the mold halves out of oak blocks I had glued up. The molds where 4ft long x 1ft wide x 7 inches total thickness of the two halves. They use a 500 ton press I designed for them, to press between 3 to 8 longboard blanks at a time. Or used to anyway, I heard they fell victim to the economy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    I realize that this is a dated post, but great job on the wind art. I live near Sedona AZ, and one of the galleries sell similar pieces that range from hundreds to thousands of dollars each. I made an attempt to build one at one point and went the route of using a home made english wheel to form the copper cups I had cut using a CNC plasma machine. I got discouraged with the process and never finished it. Seeing your post brought it to mind again and since I have a CNC mill now, I think I'll give it another try with the mold & press technique. If you have any additional info or photo to share it would be appreciated. I have photos of a number of different designs.
    Thanks again for your post

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