Mounting Motors: Spin the Bottle

This week, Ben introduced us to various techniques for mounting motors, servos, and steppers. I was looking forward to this assignment after seeing all the wonderful projects that came out of the first seven weeks, but knowing it would coincide with finals added a lot of stress. I already had an idea in mind for awhile to create a pulley system to pull a zipper up and down. I imagine it can look pretty novel and be useful to implement in wearables for people with degenerative diseases such as cerebral palsy. I discussed it with Ben pretty early on to deduce feasibility. In brief, it can be done, but requires materials research and testing to determine how much torque is needed for the type of zipper. I didn’t have that kind of time this week, unfortunately. Yesterday, I went to Tinkersphere and ended up getting a kit because it was less costly than buying the individual parts I needed:

I saw that the kit came with two pulleys and motors and figured I’d give the zipper idea a shot even though Ben advised DC motors couldn’t supply enough force. Sure enough, when I used a thread to create a belt, all it could manage was vibrate and very, very slow movement. I had to think of something else.

When I was preparing to break for lunch, I thought of an idea and sat back down to sketch. I wanted to play off of spin the bottle since my classmates and myself have been itching to get drinks for some time. I still had materials I previously purchased for the enclosure project in my bin so I figured I’d put it to good use.



Bamboo box




Plastic rings for mounting motor

AA Batteries

I put the components inside the box to determine placement and measurements for the acrylic lid I would later laser cut. First, I needed to do a quick and dirty prototype in cardboard:


I am very glad I made the cardboard prototype first because it helped me determine the dimensions for my bottle motif. I went on to create my illustrator files with the precise measurements I outlined:

I mounted the motor with the plastic rings that came with the kit and soldered the wires together for the circuit.

Careful planning means everything fits like a glove:

This is the finished product:

Now who’s buying?

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