Searched the net - for I don't which time, for linear actuation, rag and pinion etc..
Then I fumbled a little with the caliper approach, and made something with a lego wheel that actually works, but ended up being too clumsy. Then it hit me that I didn't need the whell, the thumb alone worked just as fine. So here is a first shot of the "thing" - I don't know what to call it because it's without winders.
The winderless method, a thumb actuator...
ideas most welcome :)
The materials used here should be in most stop motion enthusiast's workshops.
It's cheap simple and it will do the job.
You can manipulate the square brass pretty precisely between your thumb and the index finger like in the picture.
The screws are embedded in the polymorph with a nut. In such a way that there still is a bit of the plastic between the square tubes and the point of the screw. When slightly tightened the plastic is squeezed, preventing any accidental sliding.
I should point out that the puppet here only weighs 19 grams, with the props. But this rig can be made in so many different ways and qualities that you should be able to find a solution that meets your needs. But I guess that this would easily hold 150 grams. Just tried with a 187-gram apple, it'll hold, but bend the 5mm brass square tube slightly. And if my puppet was that heavy I would go for stronger construction.
You can get a 3D printable winder from here:
and a motorised one from here:
I have done a couple of videos on these winders, and will be doing another one soon as there is a new version of the hand-powered winders coming out.
I forgot to say... using polymorph is a clever solution! Will try to remember that as it may come in handy sometime!
Nice video - I'll go for the x-y winder of Edu Puretas as soon as I can afford one. In my thoughts regarding my own winder I have been thinking of using a normal treaded 8mm pole using a cymbal quick release nut, for the vertical axis, simply because it's so brilliant. I would prefer a M12 but haven't seen one of those. But that way it wouldn't drop like the rag you're showing.
Anyways my current solution with the polymorph is actually that tight that it has to be manipulated before moving. I like the idea to have my hands on the rig, instead of a gear nob, but it have to be tested. Currently I'm looking into my neighbors workshops to find some welding for another foot. As you say it has to be stable. I liked the wedging but I think I'll go for welding.
If I on the other hand had a 3D printer ... for sure I would be printing one of those right now :)
But my pockets are sluggish with no immediate improvement in sight. So I'll use whatever is at hand ☺️
Yes, Edu Puertas' winders are lovely, a league above these plastic ones. But anything that helps to hold things steady is good.
I printed off a little collar that stops the rig falling down when the knob is loosened. It has been very handy.
Would a ballscrew work better for you than a threaded rod? I think they can have quick release nuts...
The ballnuts is very intriguing, but they also looks a bit more expensive. And the trapez shaft is a bit steep in increments. The downside of using a treaded shaft and the reason why I skipped this approach is that it will need a extra pole to keep it from rotating. I tried to find a treaded rod with a linear groove cut into it, for guiding. But I haven't found one yet. Anyway the square rod works, and the polymorph gives a very tight grip. I have to sand it to a level where I can manipulate it without using to much force.
I'm considering to make a metal housing for the guides. Using a small welded cross of square rods that can accommodate the axis's and the polymorph gliders. It could make the thing more sturdy and tiny. Avoiding the big lumps of polymorph.
But first the prototype has to be tested. The foot is off with a friend to be welded, so soon I'll be able to make a first test.
Will be good to see your progress!
Just got the welded parts back from my friend.
I've ordered a 5.5x5.5mm x 50cm square brass rod but received a SLR kind of wire plug. That's a kind of setback. I've got a 50cm 4x4mm but find it a little too under dimensioned. The question is can I wait... Probably not!
I'm happy to announce that Thumb Nudger 1 has left the dock.
I'll later upload a video about the process and thoughts.
It works brilliantly!!!
You have to use the embed code and drop it into the window displayed by the movie icon along the top L of this box.
Hans Jacob Wagner said: