This project was completed as a team of five for a graduate-level course titled Integrated Computer-Aided Design. The goal was to convert single axis movement from one motor into a more complex, beautiful motion. My team and I decided to create an animatronic wolf that was powered by the single motor we were provided. Using the software "Linkage" we mapped out all the linkages that were necessary to give the motion we desired. In total, over 120 custom pieces needed to be made, some with a tolerance of +/-0.001" to insure binding did not occur. Most of the pieces were cut out of aluminum stock using a combination of CNC and manual milling/turning. The more integral parts and the parts that were subject to the most torque, such as the drive shaft, were machined out of steal using, again, a combination of CNC and manual milling/turning. For the drive train, we used 18:1 worm gears and two roller chains connecting to a 1:5 sprocket configuration which gave a final reduction of 921:1.
Carbon fibre layups were used for the aesthetic pieces of the legs and the head. To give the wolf a skeletal appearance, surface modeling was used to create natural curves that mimicked the bones of wolves. The inverse of the shape was machined into a block of wax using the HAAS Mini Mill and then a wet layup was performed to mold the carbon fibre. To make the head, cross sections of width 0.125" were laser cut and then stacked on top of each other to get a rough profile. Next, it was covered in clay to smooth out the ridges and provide more detail. Then, a wet a layup was used to cover the dried clay in carbon fibre. Finally, the imperfections of the carbon fibre was sanded down and a second coat of epoxy was put on to give a smooth finish. The mountain in the back was cut out of 0.0625" sheet aluminum using a water jet and then spray painted black.
Due to the fact that the body of the wolf weighed almost 7 pounds, the stand was very important to ensure that the body of the wolf stayed rigid and parallel to the ground. Using FEA, it was decided that the stand had to be constructed out of 1/2" steal stock that was CNC milled to our desire shape.