Frankenstein’s Monster Mechanical Toy

Design motivation

This year marks the bicentennial of the first edition of the novel Frankenstein; therefore, the Halloween theme has to involve Frankenstein’s monster! This is my third mechanical toy, and the most complex to design. Some ideas—such as LED strips and different axial rotations—I can’t implement yet, but what I have so far is already pretty good!

Materials

1.  3mm fibreboard*1

2. Superglue or carpenter’s glue

3. M3*10 screws*4

4. M3*20 screws*2

4. M3 nuts or nylon nuts*6

5. Design plan

Tools

1. Universal VLS6.60

2. Screwdriver (optional)

Process

1. Design references and manoeuvre

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was first published in 1818. The novel only contains brief descriptions of the monster’s appearance, with no illustrations and no description of the creation process, so there really isn’t much physical information.

A popular Frankenstein adaptation would be the eponymous 1931 movie, which is also the source of the famous line, “It’s alive!” I took most of my inspiration from this movie.

A still from the 1931 movie. Source: Youtube

The focus of this project is the bringing to life of Frankenstein’s monster. He will raise his hands and get up from the operating table, in a movement that looks a little like a sit-up. His body will remain shackled to the table. Once I had a rough idea, I started drawing.

2. Creating a 3D image

This project is not complex, but there is a long displacement, which is why the cam in V1 (left) won’t do. I had to change it to a mixed cam and half gear as in V2 (right) for better results. There are some other design details that I’ll go through shortly.

  • Note: You can check out the assembly video of the first version on my Facebook Page!

(Here are both versions made in Fusion 360)

3. Laser cutting

There are 52 parts in total, twice as many as the Moon Rabbit. I hope it’s not too difficult to assemble!

4. Test assembly

Glue is not really required for this project, but do take note of the assembly procedure. It’s divided into two parts: the Operating Table and Frankenstein’s Monster.

The Operating Table

First, position the main spindle and its holders (the two exterior pieces in the left-hand picture which reduce rotation), then put in place the pushing levers, tighten the screws and close the lid (the operating table).

The Monster

Start from the feet up. The black dots in the picture are all screw holes. The parts are held together by the friction between the wood pieces, so you can easily change the monster’s clothes and face whenever you like!

Finally, shackle up the monster and you can start playing. The current design does not allow the monster to sit up straight, but I think it’s still fun.

5. Things to improve

  • The monster’s weight makes it difficult to lift him up using the bottom mechanism. I need to make it stronger.
  • The operating table needs stronger legs.
  • The pushing lever gets stuck sometimes: chamfering and some adjustment will solve this problem.
  • LED strips and different axial rotations would make this project even better.

Made @台大創新設計學院   @新北市自造者空間暨工具圖書館

Made @D-School, NTU @New Taipei Makerspace and Tool Library

Visit the author’s YouTube channel for more projects: https://www.youtube.com/c/不務正業

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