Caterpillar Toy Movement Study #itp #fabricating-mechanical-automatons

Sep 20, 2023

This week, we are studying the movements of our mechanical toys. The first step we were asked to do was to draw all components in Adobe Illustrator. Since I am fairly familiar with Adobe Illustrator, I challenged myself to practice drawing in Vectorworks, which I have little experience in.

In Vectorworks, I imported the photo I took last week as a reference. In order to draw accurate dimensions, I also measured the caterpillar and resized the photo to match the dimension as close as I could.

I must admit it was quite challenging to draw such intricate shapes in an application I am not familiar with.

I eventually switched to Adobe Illustrator. After a few hours, I was able to trace all the components.

Here’s the final drawing of all the components that make up the caterpillar toy:

Next step was to create visuals to demonstrate the movement of a particular mechanism. I decided to create a GIF animation.

I edited the wheel drawing to show the other side, which has a small cylindrical bump that drives the other piece.

As I closely observed this movement of the caterpillar, I realized that the small piece was actually a hook pulling the next segment (instead of pushing, which was my initial assumption last week).

Here’s the final GIF animatoin demonstrating this mechanism: