kinetic Art

Glow Trace Chaotic Pendulum Kit

This kit (usually part of a subscription) often available here:
Get amazing quatilty science kits delievered to your home- this glow pendulum is part of the Tinker Crate subscription. 
From KiwiCo: LEARN MORE: Tinker Crate Subscription

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Glow Trace Chaotic Pendulum: this fun and amazing DIY kit features a UV diode to trace the intricate path of this double pendulum system on to a phosphorescent screen, revealing the physics of chaotic motion. It’s amazing that such complex motion can arise from a simple assembly of two pendulums, one attached to the end of the other. Chaotic motion, such as that observed here, is characterized by extreme sensitivity to initial starting conditions, tiny differences in how the system is released leads to dramatically different outcomes each time. 

 

Mirror Anamorphic Lenticular Cup & Saucer

Now available here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Anamorphic Wavy Cups & Saucers

See all the amazing illusions and art avaialble from Luycho: Luycho | A New world on Mirrors 

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Mirror Anamorphic Lenticular Cup & Saucer: a toucan sits in a nest of flowers, revealed when the cylindrical mirrored cup is put in place. This beautiful design by Luycho uses both mirror anamorphic reflection and an accordion type lenticular dual image (turning the plate 180 degrees trades images). Art meets math and physics!

 

Polarized Light Cell Kaleidoscope

Click here for affordable, precision made scopes with angled mirrors: Kaleidoscope Symmetries Explored

Similar Kaleidoscopes available here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Fluid Flow Kaleidoscope 
From Etsy: Fluid Flow Kaleidoscope

See more kaleidoscopes in my collection: Kaleidoscopes

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Polarized Light Cell Kaleidoscope: the amazing colors you see from the object cell of this 3 mirror kaleidoscope are generated by manipulating the polarization of light- the object in the clear wand is a strip of clear cellophane in oil which has the property of optical rotation. These property allows for an incredible range of color formation when placed between two linear polarization filters (swipe for demonstration). A creation of kaleidoscope artist Ron Kuhns.


Chorus Line Kaleidoscope

This type of kaleidoscope is hard to find and mostly made by artists. Here are two examples currently avaliable:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Chorus Line Kaleidoscope

From KaleidoscopeShop.com: BUY NOW: Chorus Line Kaleidoscope

Click here for affordable, precision made scopes with angled mirrors: Kaleidoscope Symmetries Explored

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Chorus Line Kaleidoscope: an interesting and uncommon kaleidoscope design where two mirrors are placed with surfaces parallel to each other- resulting in a side by side strip of alternating images. Here the camera is attached to the view port and the entire tube is rotated to produce the changing patterns. The kaleidoscope was invented by the famous Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster (1781-1868), and has become an entire field of artistic endeavor.

Dual Spiral Kinetic Art

Here are some available kinetic illusions that operate on the same principle: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Spiral Spinner Illusion 

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Dual Spiral Kinetic Art: hanging by fishing line, thick gauge steel wire is shaped into connected helixes- a pair twisting clockwise and a single coiled counterclockwise. When spinning the rotational motion creates translational motion both upwards and downwards along the vertical direction, and also the striking illusion that the quartz sphere is climbing or descending.

Lissajous Roller 

Available from Pyrigan & Co.

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Lissajous Roller Illusion

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Lissajous Roller: when viewing this 3D printed object from the side one sees a projection of a 3:2 Lissajous curve, but the object is actually cylindrical in frame and can roll towards or away from the viewer. When in motion a “dual axis illusion” is produced where the object appears to be rotating about a vertical axis. Invented by Bill Gosper and produced by Pyrigan & Co. 


Pendulum Clock

Affordable gravity powered pendulum clocks available here in a number of styles:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Pendulum Clock

The version featured in the video is the: Hermle Ravensburg Clock

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Gravity Powered Pendulum Clock: invented in 1656 by Christian Huygens, the physics properties of a swinging pendulum was the basis of all precision clocks until the 1940s. As noted by Galileo, the period of swing of a pendulum can be made very precise and stable depending only on its length. This modern version is made faithfully in the original design powered only by gravity as the potential energy of the descending weight is transferred to the kinetic energy of the drive train gears and pendulum. The key feature of any pendulum clock is the anchor escapement mechanism- a curved piece attached to the pendulum with two prongs that only allows the escapement wheel to move forward one tooth per swing cycle, and producing the characteristic “tick-tock” sound. The weight descends about 1 cm per hour, and when hanging from a wall the chain needs to be pulled once a week, raising the weight up about 2 m to keep the clock in operation. This beautiful clock, made by Hermle, features a chime that sounds upon the hour. 

1790 Terrestrial Globe by Mova

Available for all the planets and several versions of Earth: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW 
Mova Globes: all types 

From Amazon: BUY NOW 
Mova Globes: 1790 Terrestrial

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Octopus Stand available here:
From Etsy-pyrofarms: BUY NOW OctoStand in Metal

1790 Terrestrial Globe by Mova: rotating counterweighted globe sealed within a clear liquid filled acrylic sphere. The rotation in a Mova globe is powered by light that shines through the semi-transparent map image on to solar cells within the globe which drive a motor. But what does the motor push against to maintain the rotation? Believe it or not it uses magnets to push against the Earth's magnetic field like a compass needle. Wonderful physics of all kinds in the design of this clever device. The featured map is a faithful recreation of a globe famous for its accuracy at the time by Giovanni María Cassini and highlights the voyages of James Cook.

 

Rocking Stork Drinking Bird

This artisitic version of the Drinking Bird available here:
From drinkingbird.eu: BUY NOW: Rocking Stork

Get a standard Drinking Bird here:  
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Drinking Bird Engine 

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Wikipedia has wonderful details about the rich history (and further descriptions of the operational principals) of the Drinking Bird
Rocking Stork: this species of drinking bird toy comes from the Czech Republic where each is crafted in blown glass by an artisan. This classic physics toy is a functional heat engine- cooling by evaporation at the head/beak leads to lower pressure in the top bulb, the pressure in the bottom bulb pushes the dichloromethane fluid (here dyed red) up the neck making the bird top heavy and the bird tips over dipping its beak and letting the fluid return to the bottom bulb. The process repeats, and as long as the top bulb stays wet and cooler than the bottom this heat engine will continue to cycle.


Woodwork Rattleback

The amazing work of Emmanuel Péluchon can be purchased here:
From Boisselier.ca: BUY NOW: Fine Woodworked Rattleback

Other rattlebacks variations found here- check them out: physicsfun rattlebacks

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Woodwork Rattleback: prefers to spin counter clockwise- If spun clockwise, a complicated combination of friction, precession, and instability induced vibrations transforms the rotational energy into into rattling (energy of oscillations) and then into rotational energy in the opposite direction. This behavior is related to an asymmetry in weight along the left/right symmetry axis- the dark wood is Apple which has twice the density of the light colored Basswood(Linden). This asymmetry in weight induces an instability, quite like the vibrations that arise from an unbalanced tire, that transfers the rotational energy to the intermediate rocking vibrations. This beautiful physics toy was produced by Emmanuel Péluchon.

Balance Stacking Sculpture

Another wonderful desing by BinDesign- get one here in black or natural wood:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Bin Design Balancer Puzzle

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Balance Stacking Sculpture: a series of torques in unstable equilibrium complete this Calder-esque structure. As each component is added its weighted end balances all the others before it, with the initial small piece weighing about a gram or so. Remove the end piece and the whole structure comes down. Another wonderful design by artist Bin Xu.

Floating Rings Illusion: Dr. Manhattan Booth

Created in my shop with these parts:

From Amazon: plastic rings, plastic sphere, blue paint

Inspired by the Phone Booths in the new Watchmen series.

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Calling Dr. Manhattan: floating rings illusion device inspired by the recent Watchmen series. Two attached rings appear to roll in an impossible way around an orb, featured in a number of scenes on top of blue interplanetary phone booths in the new Watchmen series. Created in my shop with plastic rings and some blue spray paint. 


Precision Doodle Top

This unique doodle top availabe here:

From Mabro Toys: BUY NOW: Pencil Tipped Top

Similar tops available here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Doodle Tops

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Precision Doodle Top: a sharpened pencil lead serves as the point of this wooden spinning top and records the path of contact revealing the intricacies of its precession and motion as friction slows the system down.

Dot Animation Card

Five animations to choose from- collect them all!

From Art fo Play: BUY NOW: Dot Animation Cards

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Dot Animation Cards: a unique version of barrier-grid (kinegram) animation where a matrix of holes allows only some of the dots on the covered card to show in succession producing the appearance of motion. In this clever design rotating the card with dots by 180 degrees reveals a second animation. Affordable kinetic art by Shigeki Naito that plays on the psychophysics of vision.


Chil Balance Sculpture

This elegant design comes ready to assemble in your choice of four colors:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Chil Balance Bird

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Chil Balance Sculpture: the mass and orientation of the wings creates a center of mass below this sleek bird's beak- making a system that will rotate and oscillate about a stable equilibrium. No magnets! An elegant sculpture by artist Bin Xu of BinDesign that comes ready to assemble complete with stand,

Hoberman Actuator with Sphere

The Actuator mechanism is out of production but can still be found on eBay, comes with power supply, Expandagon kit, and connecotors that snap on to a Hoberman Sphere

The spheres are still in production and come in various sizes and colors: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Hoberman Spheres 

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Hoberman Actuator with Sphere: This actuator mechanism creates kinetic art out of a Hoberman sphere, designed to smoothly expand and contract the isokinentic structure. The Hoberman sphere itself is a special assembly of foldable linkages consisting of rigid bars and simple hinges is kinematically over constrained- motion can only occur along the radial direction and the movement of any hinge creates motion in all the joints. The engineering and physics behind deployable space structures!

3D Print Planetary Gearset

Similar 3D prints available as fidget toys here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Gear Spinner Fidget Toy

Or print it yourself! (.stl files are available here):
From Thingverse:
Emmett Lalish Download: Gear Bearing 
Refined version featured here by Don Stewart Download: Honeycomb Gear Bearing 

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

3D Print Planetary Gearset: amazingly this gear set is printed assembled, with interlocking herringbone teeth. The gears will not come apart, in fact this design can only be accomplished by 3D printing the gears interlocked with each other. Designed and first printed by Emmett Lalish in 2013, and this version with refined precision and honeycomb by Don Stewart.