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Design of the Week: Windmill-Powered Music Box

Design of the Week: Windmill-Powered Music Box

A music box powered by a 3D printed windmill [Source: Niklas Roy]

A music box powered by a 3D printed windmill [Source: Niklas Roy]

This week’s selection is the practical Windmill-Powered Music Box by designer Niklas Roy of Berlin.

Roy produces many unusual machines such as the Windmill, often exhibiting them at shows around the world. However, not everyone can travel to such exhibitions and so he occasionally publishes the plans so that others can undertake the same projects. The Windmill-Powered Music Box is one of them.

This project will result in a device that’s mounted outdoors and transfers wind power through a propeller to a conventional music box. The music box operates by having a rotating cylinder occasionally strike tynes on a music fork. Each tyne has a different tone, so that a sequence of music is played when the cylinder rotates.

Here you can see how the music box is powered by the 3D printed windmill [Source: Niklas Roy]

Here you can see how the music box is powered by the 3D printed windmill [Source: Niklas Roy]

There are some 3D printed parts involved in this project, but many non-3D printed parts you must also obtain. The 3D print files are available for download from YouMagine at the link below, but the other parts include ball bearings, drive belt, sheets of resonant material, bolts & nuts and of course a leftover music box.

This is not a particularly difficult project to complete, as Roy was able to outfit the parts to his 80-year-old neighbor, who quickly put it together.

As this is an outdoor part that will undergo mechanical, thermal, chemical and UV stresses, I recommend using a strong material such as ASA for printing the parts required for the project.

It really does produce music, as Roy explains:

“I've built a little windmill that powers a music box. I set it up in front of my workshop, where it was entertaining the entire neighborhood. People really seemed to like it - quite many took photos of it with their smartphones and spent long time watching it and listening to it. Unfortunately one person liked it a bit too much and stole it during one night.”

Hopefully your version stays longer in your yard.

Via Niklas Roy and YouMagine

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