Kinetic Art Table

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Kinetic Art Table

Postby Tailmaker » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:24 pm

Just finished my latest project which is a kind of kinetic art coffee table. Practically that means a CNC controlled 2-axis plotter that drags a steel ball through a thin sand bed making pattern reminiscent of a Japanese Zen garden. The concept has been around for a while, probably best known from Bruce Shapiro's "Sisyphus" kickstarter project. Design was done in separate 3d-CAD, then 2-d drawings imported to Aspire (Vcarve would have worked as well) for all tool paths, mostly profile, also some pocket and moulding.

To fit my living room furniture, I made the table to match the design of my Ekornes chairs with a ring foot and looped legs:
IMG_0807.JPG


The chair legs are molded beech plywood, which I can not do. So I decided to cut everything from walnut segments that comes somewhat close to the color of the chair's stained beech:
DSC01550.JPG


All foot/leg segments glued up. I will post separately about my experience with a new type of glue (hybrid silane) that I used successfully here:
DSC01557.JPG


Sanded and finished. I had not planned for the alignment dowels to be visible in the ring. But I did not pay enough attention that the slope cut of the ring top surface (moulding tool path) would expose the (supposedly blind) dowel holes. Oh well, does not look too bad.
DSC01558.JPG


More pics to follow.
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Re: Kinetic Art Table

Postby Rcnewcomb » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:33 pm

I had not planned for the alignment dowels to be visible in the ring

I like the effect. To my eye it make it more interesting.
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Re: Kinetic Art Table

Postby Tailmaker » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:36 pm

More pics....

The complete foot assembled with the table baseplate (contains all the electrical/mechanical stuff), the sand bed (walnut frame with 1/8" glass sheet), the tabletop (walnut frame with 1/2" tempered glass sheet) and an enlosure frame (to hide the baseplate and technical things):
DSC01576.JPG


View of the complete table:
DSC01568.JPG


Detail view of the top frame joints. I experimented with a kind of frog finger joints (lacking a better term) that allows assembly without frame clamps. Worked pretty well:
DSC01571.JPG


More pics to follow...
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Re: Kinetic Art Table

Postby Tailmaker » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:43 pm

More pics...

Here some pictures of the guts for the technically inclined folks.

Baseplate with all relevant electronics:
DSC01545.JPG


Mechanical assembly of the 2-axis plotter complete:
DSC01554.JPG


LED light strip with diffuser (normally hidden under tabletop frame):
DSC01552.JPG


Night view:
DSC01566.JPG



That's it...

So, what is my next project? Maybe I should finally finish the shop reorganisation....
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Re: Kinetic Art Table

Postby scottp55 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:29 pm

Came together BEAUTIFULLY G. !! :D
ESPECIALLY Like the Foot Assembly and LOVE the face frame "Fingers".
Well Done!! :)
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Re: Kinetic Art Table

Postby WNC_Ed » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:17 am

That is super cool!
Hopefully your next project will be detailing on this forum how to do your "froggy joints" - Hint Hint
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Re: Kinetic Art Table

Postby vgraves » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:19 am

Really love this! I've wanted a Sisyphus table ever since I came across them and toyed with the thoughts of a DIY version but figured the software would be the hard part. Did you write your code from scratch? I'd be very interested in getting more details if you decide to make an Instructable or something.

And your woodworking is excellent as well :D !

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Re: Kinetic Art Table

Postby Tailmaker » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:07 am

vgraves wrote:Really love this! I've wanted a Sisyphus table ever since I came across them and toyed with the thoughts of a DIY version but figured the software would be the hard part. Did you write your code from scratch? I'd be very interested in getting more details if you decide to make an Instructable or something.

And your woodworking is excellent as well :D !

Van


Thanks Van!
The "real" Sisyphus table has polar mechanics, moving the magnet to certain programmed angle/radius positions. This has some advantages but is not compatible with typical motion controllers. Therefore I went for the standard Cartesian x/y concept. The other advantage of x/y is the availability of cheap (I mean really cheap) 3D printer parts like small linear bearings, small steppers and drives, GT2 belts and pulleys and the like. The most expensive part of this project was all the Walnut lumber.

I did not program the controller. I still had a motion controller from Planet-CNC sitting in a drawer that used to run my CNC router until I replaced it with the successor product.

I did write however the software to generate the ball trace patterns and g-code. Actually I modified the versions for making Guilloche patterns and mazes that I am selling normally for CNC maching purposes

If you want to build such a thing, check out the ZEN_XY forum. This is dedicated to building such sand tables with 3d printed parts, Arduino and GRBL/Marlin software. They also have a web based software to generate patterns/gcode.
I did it differently but got some advice there and posted my results.
Last edited by Tailmaker on Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kinetic Art Table

Postby mtylerfl » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:17 am

Man, that is really cool! Super-fun to see your build progression, too!

Are you going to treat us to a video? Would love to see it in action.
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Re: Kinetic Art Table

Postby rscrawford » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:29 am

That is cool!
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Re: Kinetic Art Table

Postby Stephanie Downing » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:03 pm

Amazing work. The finished table is beautiful you should be so proud.

Thank you for sharing all of your pictures, advice and useful links :)
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Re: Kinetic Art Table

Postby Bobtail Farm » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:19 pm

+1
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Re: Kinetic Art Table

Postby dwilli9013 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:19 pm

Very elegant. Especially like the corner frog finger joints. I also would love to see a video of this in action. Thanks for sharing all your photos processes and links. :lol: :lol:
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Re: Kinetic Art Table

Postby Mobius » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:58 pm

Wow. This is my favorite build this year! The whole project is amazing, top to bottom.
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Re: Kinetic Art Table

Postby mtylerfl » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:28 pm

Yes! I’m lovin’ the joinery, too! The more I look at this project, the more I appreciate it!
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