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Making Things Move DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists (Electronics)

Making Things Move DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists (Electronics)

Making Things Move DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists (Electronics)
By Dustyn Roberts

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Book Description

A unique guide to practical mechanical design principles and their applications
In Making Things Move, you'll learn how to build moving mechanisms through non-technical explanations, examples, and do-it-yourself projects--from art installations to toys to labor-saving devices. The projects include a drawing machine, a mini wind turbine, a mousetrap powered car, and more, but the applications of the examples are limited only by your imagination. A breadth of topics is covered ranging from how to attach couplers and shafts to a motor, to converting between rotary and linear motion.
Each chapter features photographs, drawings, and screenshots of the components and systems involved. Emphasis is placed on using off-the-shelf components whenever possible, and most projects also use readily available metals, plastics, wood, and cardboard, as well as accessible fabrication techniques such as laser cutting. Small projects in each chapter are designed to engage you in applying the material in the chapter at hand. Later in the book, more involved projects incorporate material from several chapters.
Making Things Move:

  • Focuses on practical applications and results, not abstract engineering theories
  • Contains more than a dozen topic-focused projects and three large-scale projects incorporating lessons from the whole book
  • Features shopping lists and guides to off-the-shelf components for the projects
  • Incorporates discussions of new fabrication techniques such as laser cutting and 3D printing, and how you can gain access
  • Includes online component for continuing education with the book's companion website and blog (
Hands-on coverage of moving mechanisms
Introduction to Mechanisms and Machines; Materials and Where to Find Them; Screwed or Glued? On Fastening and Joining Parts; Forces, Friction and Torque (Oh My); Mechanical and Electrical Power, Work, and Energy; Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Motor? - Creating and Controlling Motion; The Guts: Bearings, Bushings. Couplers, and Gears; Rotary vs. Linear Motion; Automatons and Mechanical Toys; Making Things and Getting Them Made; Projects

Book Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #90374 in Books
  • Brand: MCGRAW HILL
  • Model: 81-3375
  • Published on: 2010-12-08
  • Released on: 2010-11-17
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 9.20" h x .70" w x 7.40" l, 1.37 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 368 pages


  • Price For: EachOrder Unit: Each 1

Editorial Reviews

About the Author
Dustyn Roberts is a traditionally trained engineer with non-traditional ideas about how engineering can be taught.  She started her career at Honeybee Robotics as an engineer on the Sample Manipulation System project for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, scheduled for launch in 2011.  In 2006 she founded Dustyn Robots after consulting for two artists during their residency at Eyebeam Art + Technology Center in NYC.  She continued consulting projects for students and artists while working full time at Honeybee, and eventually moved to consulting full time on projects ranging from gait analysis to designing guided parachute systems. In 2007, she developed a course for NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program called Mechanisms and Things That Move that led to the book you see here.  She also participated in the pilot of Battle of the Geeks where her team designed and launched a rocket across a canyon in Africa, and has attracted media attention by Time Out New York, IEEE Spectrum, and local organizations.  

Dustyn holds a BS in Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University with minors in Robotics and Business, an MS in Biomechanics & Movement Science from the University of Delaware, and is currently working on a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University.  She currently lives in New York City with her partner, Lorena, and cat, Simba.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful.
5A classic for makers of all ages
By Dug North
If you have a maker or aspiring maker in your life and they don't own this book, this should be your gift to them. You won't just be giving them a book, but a fundamental education in machines and fabrication techniques that they will be able to use for the rest of their life. No, that's not an exaggeration.

In 'Making Things Move', Dustyn Roberts explains mechanical design principles and their applications in non-technical terms, using examples and a dozen topic-focused projects.

The book is a wealth of information:

* Introductions to mechanisms and machines
* Finding and using materials such as metals, plastics, & wood
* Basic physics
* How to fasten and attach things in a bunch of different ways
* Info on different types of motors and how to use them
* Converting between rotary and linear motion
* Using off-the-shelf components
* A wide variety of fabrication techniques
* How to have things made, if you can't do it yourself
* A primer on Arduino micro-controllers
* There is even a section on automata!

This is an outstanding book with a ton of useful material presented in a very accessible way. I believe it to be a classic-in-its-own time for makers. I wish I had owned it years ago!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
5A must-have book for Arduino developers who want to learn mechanics
By Bradford Needham
This book is a very accessible introduction to mechanics, as you might use in Maker projects.

I've just started building projects using Arduino hardware and software combined with a little bit of robotics. I know enough electronics, software, and woodworking for those projects, but had a real gap in mechanical design. This book filled that gap perfectly, providing all the theory I needed, the names of all the parts I wanted, plus loads of pointers to where to buy those parts.The book also provides just a few wonderful projects showing what you can build with your new-found knowledge.

Note this is not a robotics book. Instead, it's about more conventional (and useful) machines involving parts such as motors, gears, belts, and linkages.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
2it's a mish mash of things easily looked up online
By kcwisconsin
A collection of definitions aimed at who? From a description of a bearing to Arduino coding downloads, it's a mish mash of things easily looked up online. As a reference, it has so little use, you could get more out of a Lego set with some actual gears, levers and pneumatics. Thumb through it if you see it somewhere, but save the money. It has a table of drill bit sizes. Is that special or what?

See all 123 customer reviews...
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