Mat Janson Blanchet's academic works

Planning the construction of the Kinetic Cabinet

Posted on January 13, 2018

Advanced Practices in Video, Performance and Electronic Arts

Clean sketch of kinetic cabinet

This semester, I will be spending all my time constructing the full Kinetic Cabinet.

Metal structure plan

The first part is to prepare a 1:1 plan for the metal structure that will hold the motors, the gears and the strings. This is the plan seen above. At first I wanted to have all the strings equidistant to each other, but then I thought that adding some randomness in the design would help make it look a bit less perfect.

Cabinet wooden body sketch

Once I will have the actual body built, I will be able to mock up a cabinet wooden body. I’ll have to figure out how to attach the metal structure to the wooden body. So far, having two wooden strips at the back of the wooden box seems to be the ideal solution, as the metal structure could be screwed onto those strips

Lasercutting new gears

Lasercutting new gears

While building the prototype last semester, I discovered that the gears I was using did not have a high enough ratio to ensure the motor could break strings. I redesigned the gears: I made them smaller, so I could have a higher ratio and not have them too physically big. The biggest gear is now some 16cm wide.

This time, I ensured to take an appointment early at the Concordia FabLab to have access to the lasercutter and cut those new gears. What is awesome is that at the end of last semester, a lot of students left many plywood pieces that they weren’t using, so I got a lot of materials for free.

Next steps

I contacted Chrome et Zinc to get a quote for chroming the metal structure, so I am waiting on their answer. Once I know what they expect, I can start building the metal body.

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