Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Pie Factory - great paper automaton kit

Check out this amazing paper automaton kit and its delightfully dark humor!

Here is where you can get The Pie Factory automaton kit at Cool4Cats.


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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Fluttering Heart - animated papercraft model

Fluttering Heart - moving papercraft model
Another clever animated model from Rob Ives. Here is the idea: the heart model folds flat so it can be placed into a card. When the card is opened the heart will pop out and 'flutter' to the amazement of the recipient.

Check out this fluttering heart papercraft model.


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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mario Hammer paper automaton download

Mario Hammer paper automaton download
Another Mario Brother's inspired paper automaton download is available at Nintendo Papercraft. The paper Mario smashes a Goomba with a large hammer.

Here's the page with the Mario Hammer paper automaton kit.

[ Thanks Alan! ]


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Monday, November 23, 2009

Walter Ruffler paper automata at Flying Pig

Flying Pig paper animations has announced the addition of paper automata by Walter Ruffler to their website. There are twenty seven models from which to choose.

Shown at left is Ruffler's model title "Off Road".

Visit this section of the Flying Pig web site for the full line of Walter Ruffler paper automata kits.


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Monday, November 09, 2009

Karakuri: Make Moving Mechanical Paper Models

Karakuri: How to Make Mechanical Paper Models That Move
Here is a book on how to make paper automata by Keisuke Saka.

From the book description:
Detailed explanations, accompanied by diagrams, explain the physics behind how karakuri move and operate, so you really learn about the properties of the different types of gears and cams. And to inspire you, also included are four fun, full-color karakuri models designed by the author, a well-known paper engineer.

Here is the link to Karakuri: How to Make Mechanical Paper Models That Move


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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Classic monsters paper automata series

Dracula paper automata kit
Just in time for Halloween, Flying Pig Paper Animation Kits has an entire series of paper automata featuring classic monsters. The series was designed by artist Ng Wing Him.

The paper automata monsters:

Dracula
Frankenstein
Mummy
Wolfman
Reaper


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Friday, October 09, 2009

The Dog Ate My Homework paper automaton

The latest fun paper animation kit from Rob Ives: The Dog Ate My Homework.

Like his other offerings, this model comes as a downloadable file that you print onto thin card-stock with your printer. Once printed, you then cut out the parts and follow the illustrated instructions to make the animated model.

The color version can be purchased now for a modest price. A free, uncolored version will be available on October 20th.

Here's the link for The Dog Ate My Homework paper automaton.


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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Reindeer Ride paper automaton kit downloads

Here is the latest paper automaton creation by Rob Ives, called Reindeer Ride. There are two versions of this one. The colored version costs the usual £2.50 GBP (about $4 US dollars). The uncolored version is a completely free download! This could be a great holiday project for you or the kids.

Also, be sure to check out Rob's Workshop Notes blog in its new home of http://www.robives.com/blog. He posts to it most days about the fascinating process of creating paper automata.

Here is where you can get the Reindeer Ride paper animation kits.


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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Build a paper automaton that can draw a picture!

Perhaps there is a theme this week; take a look at this amazing paper automata kit that draws a little picture on a Post-It Note!

From the kit description:
When the handle is turned the artist looks up at his model, then down at his easel and -amazingly- he starts to draw. Keep turning and you'll be amazed to see that he actually does a real pencil drawing of the model on a 'post-it' note! Although the model of the artist, the lady and all the little accessories (Paints, brushes,etc) are detailed and amusing, the real complexity lies within the case under their feet. The handle operates a 'worm' gear which in turn drives two large cams. One controls the forwards-and-backwards movement of the artist's arm, the other the 'side-to-side' movements. A series of levers transmit the movements and the combination of both actions results in the drawing.

Here's the link to The Artist Automaton kit page.


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Monday, August 31, 2009

Too Much Coffee - paper automaton kit

Here is a short video of Rob Ives's latest paper animation kit called "Too Much Coffee". I feel for this guy; I've been there!

Here is the link for purchasing and downloading the files for the Too Much Coffee automaton.


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Monday, August 24, 2009

Swine Flew paper automaton kit

Swine Flew paper automaton kit
This little play-on-words is the latest downloadable automaton kit available form Flying Pig Paper Animation Kits: Swine Flew.

Here is where you can get the Swine Flew paper automaton download (for just over $4 US Dollars).


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Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Crocodile paper automaton kit video

This funny and macabre automaton is available as a kit from the folks at cool4cats.

Here's the page where you can order The Crocodile automaton kit (scroll down to near the bottom of the page).


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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Changing Faces - optical illusions with paper

Changing Faces - optical illusions with paper
This book on optical illusions using paper certainly looks interesting!

From the product Description
Changing Faces presents an idiosyncratic and humorous collection of paintings, drawings, cartoons, masks, toys, advertisements, and other works of ephemera that -- either by flipping or flopping or just plain staring -- somehow transform the human physiognomy. Here you will find optical illusions from the Renaissance, Enlightenment-era political cartoons, and Victorian toys that all start off as one thing and end up as another. Sometimes these mutations were made for fun (give magnetic hair to a bald man!) sometimes for profit (buy a Studebaker!), and sometimes to score a political point (watch a French king turn into a big fat pear!), but the results are always an intriguing pleasure to watch.

Here's the link for the book Changing Faces


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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fly Pterosaur paper automaton you can make

Fly Pterosaur paper automaton you can make
From the ingenius mind of Rob Ives at Flying-Pig Paper Animation Kits, here is a fun model for you to purchase, download, print out, and make.

From the Flying-pig.co.uk website:
Turn the handle on the box and the Pterosaur flaps his wings to fly, just like they used to do in prehistoric times.The model used a cam shaft and four bar linkage to to make the wings flap and the Pterosaur rise up and down.

Here's the link to the Pterosaur paper automaton page.


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Monday, July 13, 2009

Pendulum clock made entirely of paper

Marvel at this beautifully made working pendulum clock made entirely of paper.

Here is a link to the creator's web page with many additional photos and ordering information if you want to buy the PDF plans for the paper clock.

You might also consider the pre-printed book Make Your Own Working Paper Clock.


[ Thanks philsing! ]


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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Video of paper prototyping a griffin automaton

Katy Hargrove has created a great video in which she describes the process she is using to prototype an automaton project. Using manila folders, paper clips, scotch tap, and metal paper-fasteners, she has managed to create a very interesting motion for her griffin project. This is a great demonstration of an easy and effective process for working out the proportions and motions for various automata figures.

Check out more of her projects on the Art by Katy Hargrove blog.


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Friday, March 20, 2009

Fire Dragon paper automaton by Walter Ruffler

Fire Dragon paper automaton by Walter Ruffler
Check out this paper automaton kit by Walter Ruffler called 'Fire Dragon'.

From the product description:
Normally a gentle beast, when provoked this dragon breathes fire snapping his mighty jaw, rearing up on his hind legs and fluttering his beautiful wings. A gentle dragon indeed! In Fire Dragon the handle moves a crank slider that makes the dragon rear up. His jaw, forelegs and wings are all operated by strings, which tighten when the dragon rears, causing coordinated life-like movement.


Here is the link to the Fire Dragon paper automaton.


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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Monks at Exploratorium make cardboard automata

As part of the Exporatorium's Cardboard Automata activity, a group of monks observed, discussed, and then made their own hand-cranked automata. So cool!

See photographs and read more about the monks' adventures during this workshop on the Learning Studio Blog.

[ Thanks philsing! ]


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Friday, March 06, 2009

How to build working gears from paper cardstock

How to Build Working Gears from Junkmail or Cardstock
Finally! A truly wonderful use for all that junk mail! It pleases me to no end to see such a wasteful nuisance turned into a thing of mechanical beauty. This is from a great lesson on Instructables showing you how to build working gears from junk mail or cardstock.

Here's a video clip to showing the finished gears in action!

Here's the link on Instructables about how to build working gears from junk mail or cardstock.

Kudos!


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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Download Mario Brothers paper automaton plans

Free Mario Brothers paper automaton pattern
The good folks over at Nintendo Papercraft have a free download of this animated Mario. When you rotate the lever, Mario jumps up and a coin pops out of the box above him.

Here is the page featuring the download link for the free Paper Mario Automata plans.

[ Thanks Carlo! ]


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Monday, February 02, 2009

Cupid, Robot and Grumpy Goat Downloads

For a limited time, Rob Ives of Flying-Pig Paper Animations Kits, is offering three of his downloadable kits for one special price.

You can get the files to download and make a cupid, grumpy goat, AND robot (shown here) for £4.99 GBP or a little over $7 USD.

After February, these three kits will only be available printed form.

Here's a link to the Cupid, Robot, Grumpy Goat package deal.


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Friday, January 16, 2009

Butterfly paper automaton kit from CeraCera

Butterfly paper automaton kit from CeraCera
The folks over at CeraCera have just come out with four new paper automata kits. Among them is this charming Monarch Butterfly that gently flaps its wings when you turn the the crank.

Here is a link to the Monarch Butterfly paper automaton kit from CeraCera.


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Monday, December 29, 2008

Gizmos -- The best paper automata deal around!

I made a huge oversight in my recommendations for mechanical toys. The Gizmos kit gives you everything you need to make eight Rob Ives models. For one very affordable price, you get:
  • A 144-page book with an introduction to automata and the simple mechanisms
  • A pre-made pop-up frog ready to jump
  • Punch-out parts for two snap-up models
  • Complete punch-out parts to create six fully animated paper machines: Die Fledermaus, Mouthy Moose, Schrodinger's Cat, Shrimp Boat, Surf Bunny, and Marching Robot
  • Reusable templates for each of the model parts, to get you started on future projects
Gizmos is a great way to learn basic mechanical principles and paper-engineering techniques.

Here's a link to Gizmos by Rob Ives


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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Paper snowman model, automata, & surprise gifts

Snowman paper model kitRob Ives over at Flying Pig Paper Animation Kits has just released a new paper model for the holiday season. The snowman shown here is a downloadable model. You simply pay online using your Paypal account or a credit card, then download the .PDF that contains the pattern and instructions. Don't worry if you are not used to paying in Great Britian Pounds (GBP) -- PayPal will convert the transaction into your currency. Most cost less than a cup of Starucks coffee. Once you download the file, print it, cut out the pieces, and glue it together as instructed.

If you have kids at home on vacation complaining of having "nothing to do", check out all of amazing paper animation kits from Flying Pig. There are dozens, ranging from dinosaurs to working paper locks. You can let the kids choose the model and have the kit printed out in just minutes. That ought to keep them busy!

Struggling for what to get the crafty/clever person in your life for the holidays because you think they already have everything? Why not surprise them by pre-ordering Rob's forthcoming book? It's called Paper Engineering & Pop-ups For Dummies.Give them an envelope with a print out of the book's cover and they'll look forward to receiving a great gift in just a few months.


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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Free break-dancing paper automaton download

Here is a paper prototype automaton that is available for downlaod. I believe the creator is looking for feedback to refine the design.

Here is a link to the downloadable files for the Free Paper Street Dancer Automaton.

[ Thanks Raphael! ]


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Monday, November 03, 2008

More details on heart-shaped gear assembly

I posted the other day about this amazing heart composed of moving gears.

At the time, I was quite uncertain about the material used. One commenter said that it was papercraft, and would appear to be correct.

I am told that the artist was a winner in a world karakuri contest back in 2005.


I see also that the artist has made a piece similar to the heart in the form of a cube. Video of the cube can be seen here if you have the right plug-in.

The artist, Haruki Nakamura, also does other forms of paper-craft including illustration, models, and impressive 3 dimensional tessellations.


See more from the artist on Haruki Nakamura's web site.

[ Thanks philsing and PINO! ]


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Friday, October 31, 2008

Paperanimations.com for paper automaton kits

Keisuke Saka's penguin automaton
Paperanimations.com offers paper automaton kits from Rob Ives, Walter Ruffler, and Keisuke Saka. Shown here is Saka's delightful penguin automaton design.

From the Paper Animatins site:
Making paper animations and static paper models (such as buildings, planes, cars and animals) is a thriving hobby in Europe and Asia. Such paper crafting is just now catching on in the USA. Paper animations enjoys an increasingly wider following among teachers and students who use the models to explore the basics of mechanical movement.

Visit Paper Animations to see all of the paper automata kits they offer.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Patent for Greeting Card with Motion System

I've done a bunch of post this year about Hallmark's new line of hand-cranked animated greeting cards. First, there was the batch I bought and posted. Another gallery of animated cards came courtesy of a kindly reader. A video of one of the best cards also turned up. Thanks to Joe Freedman, The Automata / Automaton Blog was first to offer an online exclusive look at the inner workings.

Joe's thirst for knowledge uncovered another fascinating item: the patent for the animated greeting cards. Titled GREETING CARD MOTION SYSTEM WITH MODULAR DESIGN, the patent is full of diagrams...many depicting card designs I have yet to see on the store shelves. (Note: There are some new designs out for Halloween, 2008!)

Some automata of old were patented, but it must not have proved to be worth the effort. Many designs were not patented and the European makers of the last century copied each other with abandon.

Check out the full online version of the patent for the GREETING CARD MOTION SYSTEM WITH MODULAR DESIGN.

[ Thanks to Joe Freedman of The Sarabande Press! ]


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Monday, September 22, 2008

Paper Engineering & Pop-ups for Dummies Book

Great News! A brand new book from Rob Ives -- master of paper automata and engineering -- is due out early next year.

From the Book Description:
Paper Engineering & Pop-ups For Dummies covers a wide range of projects, from greeting cards to freestanding models. Easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions and dozens of accompanying diagrams help readers not only to complete the diverse projects in the book, but also master the skills necessary to apply their own creativity and create new projects, beyond the book's pages.

This is sure to be a great resource for anyone interested in making automata, paper or otherwise. A satisfying art in itself, paper engineering can also be a great method of learning about automata or testing designs before creating them in wood or metal.

Check out Paper Engineering & Pop-ups For Dummies by Rob Ives.


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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Animated Paper Shark Automaton Download Kit

Animated Paper Shark Automaton Download Kit
The AquaShark Automata is an new animated paper automaton kit from the folks at CeraCera. This is a downloadable kit that will cost you about $5 U.S. dollars. The model looks to have a very nice, subtle motion. Paper automaton makers amaze me in what they can do.

Check out the Animated Paper Shark Automaton Download Kit

For a really well-done printed book that allows you to make four complete paper automata, check out Paper Automata: Four Working Models to Cut Out & Glue Together.


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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gizmos: New Paper Automata Kit from Rob Ives!

The unstoppable Rob Ives has a new paper automaton set called Gizmos.

From Barnes & Nobel:
"Everything You Need to Make Amazing Paper Machines!

Automata are animated toys that use several basic mechanisms to come alive—and they're made completely out of paper! Using the ingenious punch-out designs included in Gizmos, you can assemble six enchanting automata by designer Rob Ives—and when you've mastered the fundamental techniques, you can create new designs of your own.

Gizmos includes:
* A pre-made pop-up frog ready to jump right out of the box!
* Pre-stamped punch-out parts for two snap-up models that are perfect for first-time builders
* Complete punch-out parts to create six full-color, fully animated paper machines: Die Fledermaus, Mouthy Moose, Schrödinger’s Cat, Shrimp Boat, Surf Bunny, and Marching Robot
* A 144-page book with an introduction to automata and the simple mechanisms—cranks, cams, and levers—that give them life; easy-to-follow instructions to make eight Rob Ives models; and handy reusable templates for each of the model parts, to get you started on future projects

Gizmos is a fascinating way to learn about basic mechanical principles as well as a guide to paper-crafting techniques that will enable you to design and build paper toys that capture the imagination!"


Eight models for under $15...that's a good deal. Check out Gizmos by Rob Ives at Barnes and Nobel.


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Monday, August 04, 2008

Papercraft Locomotive with Gears

Posted today on BoingBoing.net...a locomotive made with paper! This post comes to them (and us) via Neatorama.

Into paper gears? Maybe you want to try to Make Your Own Working Paper Clock.


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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Even More Animated Greeting Card Images

Hallmark has created a whole line of animated greeting cards that feature a little plastic crank mounted to the corner. When you turn the crank, the scene starts to move. Here a bunch of their new designs in this line. I posted about some of the other designs here and here.

Animated Yoga Greeting card
Figures doing Yogo


Sound and motion card of pirates
This one has sound and motion.



Schroeder and Snooopy card


Dog in front of fan card
Dog in front of fan card


Office themed birthday card
An office themed birthday card


Baseball pitcher animated card
Baseball pitcher winding up to throw


[ Thanks, again to Alan and Family! ]


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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Three More Hand-Cranked Animated Cards

Hallmark (or the Shoebox division, rather) must be testing their excellent new line of hand-cranked animated greeting cards in different markets. The three shown below were not offered among the several that I bought in the Boston area. The cards also seem to vary quite a bit in terms of style and tone -- some retro, some contemporary, some cartoon, some photographs, some tame, and some raunchy.

Hallmark animated card, woman with twirling pasties
I believe the pasties twirl on this one.


Hallmark animated card, dancing cartoon woman
No, I don't know what this one says on the inside!


Hallmark animated card, woman with martini shaker
Back to retro with this one Martini maker

Some of the greeting cards have sound and motion, and some just have motion. These are of the motion-only variety.

[ Thanks Alan and Family! ]

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Video of Internal Mechanism of Animated Card


I posted recently about a the internal mechanism of a Hallmark animated greeting card. Here is a (very) short video of the card internal mechanism in action.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Hallmark Hand-Cranked Animated Card Dissected

Not long ago, I posted about Hallmark's new line of animated greeting cards. I bought a few, but didn't have the heart to dissect them. Fortunately for us, master papercraft artist and Retroscope creator Joe Freedman wasn't squeamish. Here are some of his photographs showing the internal mechanism of one of the cards. All images courtesy of Joe Freedman of The Sarabande Press.
Hallmark Hand-Cranked Animated Card Dissection 1
Hallmark Hand-Cranked Animated Card Dissection 2
Hallmark Hand-Cranked Animated Card Dissection 3
Hallmark Hand-Cranked Animated Card Dissection 4
Hallmark Hand-Cranked Animated Card Dissection 5
Hallmark Hand-Cranked Animated Card Dissection 6
Hallmark Hand-Cranked Animated Card Dissection 7
Hallmark Hand-Cranked Animated Card Dissection 8
Hallmark Hand-Cranked Animated Card Dissection 9
Hallmark Hand-Cranked Animated Card Dissection 10
Hallmark Hand-Cranked Animated Card Dissection 11
Hallmark Hand-Cranked Animated Card Dissection 12
Thanks again to Joe Freedman -- creator of innovative dimensional graphics -- for these images.

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