I worked with Yash Sathe to create a similar kinetic sculpture to Jennifer Townley's Asinas.
We had the task of figuring out what sort of mechanism was used inside the original sculpture and replicate that.
Our challenges were increased with no access to workshop during COVID-19 and we had to think out of the box with our tools and techniques to create the sculpture from home.
The interesting thing about the Asinas is that it has alternate pieces which rotate in the opposite direction on a single axis. The sketch above describes our own solution to the problem of having to rotate alternate pieces independently on a single axis. Further, the rotations needed to be of different speed but be controlled by a single hand crank. We decided that a planetary gear system accompanied by smart use of a single axle and spacers will achieve all that we want to achieve.
We used CAD tools to figure out the right size, proportion, rotation and spacing. This helped us easy visualize the overall form of the sculpture and also extract individual shapes and mounting points for the next step.
All the individual pieces were hand cut using templates and are made from white foam board.
Our messy workspace
We used our tools creatively to workout how to drill holes, mount bearings, assemble the structure and make it work.
For the planetary gear mechanism we first created a low fidelity mockup using foam board to test it out. After that, we laser cut the parts on acrylic and used bearings to create a functional gear setup which was ready to be mounted on our sculpture.