Kinetic Art Table

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Tailmaker
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Kinetic Art Table

Post by Tailmaker »

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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Rcnewcomb
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Re: Kinetic Art Table

Post by Rcnewcomb »

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.
- Randall Newcomb
10 fingers in, 10 fingers out
another good day in the shop

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Re: Kinetic Art Table

Post by Tailmaker »

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

Post by Tailmaker »

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

Post by scottp55 »

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

Post by WNC_Ed »

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

Post by vgraves »

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

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Re: Kinetic Art Table

Post by Tailmaker »

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

Post by mtylerfl »

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

Post by rscrawford »

That is cool!
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Re: Kinetic Art Table

Post by Stephanie Downing »

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

Post by Bobtail Farm »

+1

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Re: Kinetic Art Table

Post by dwilli9013 »

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

Post by Mobius »

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

Post by mtylerfl »

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