How to make cardboard animation with linkages

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Gather all your materials as above. Please refer to the supply list.

Imagine movement of creatures that you want to recreate. Then guesstimate on how many linkages you will be using.

Let's start with the template, this way we can poke holes that have consistent spacing. Make five marks, with one in the middle of the cardboard. Space about an inch between each.

Placing the cardboard on the foam block, use the sharpened pencil or dowel to poke a hole completely through the dots on the cardboard strip.

Cover the cardboard strip with duct tape.

Add another piece of duct tape to cover the other side of the cardboard completely.

Trim off the cover duct tape around the cardboard strip.

Even though you covered the cardboard holes with duct tape, you can still see them. Use the sharp pencil/dowel to poke through the five holes again. Your template is finished!

Let's start to make some linkages. You'll want to start with four pieces.

To make holes in your linkages, put a blank cardboard strip on the foam first and then the template on top of the cardboard strip.

Use the pencil/dowel to make holes following the template.

Make holes to all the linkages that you are going to use.

Next, we'll link them together using brass fasteners.

To link them, align the two holes and poke the brass fastener through.

On the other end, spread the two legs to lock the two linkages in place.

Make sure the two legs of the brass fastener are flat to the linkage. If it is not, it might interfere with the movement.

I made one that looks like an "N" with one linkage crossing it from behind.

As you can see, as I move the bottom linkage up, the top linkage moves down. Based on these linkages, I am going to make a silly monster that opens its mouth up and down.

Use your linkages as a guide to draw the size of your creation.

After you have your drawing, cut it out.

Cut and add anything you want that will go with each piece. For this one, I make some green teeth for my silly monster.

I use masking tape to tape the teeth to the upper and lower jaws in the back side. This way, it hides the tape in the back.

To add googly eyes and make it stick to the card stock, I loop the masking tape to make the sticky side going on the outside.

Place it where you want to add googly eyes.

Firmly press the googly eyes on the masking tape.

To put your cutout character onto the linkages, I loop the masking tape like the previous step to make the sticky side out. I then place it on the linkages where I want my cutout to go.

Firmly press your design on the tape. Make sure it aligns with other pieces on the linkages.

I flipped it over and taped the eyes piece in the back of the linkages.

Now move it back and forth to make sure that it moves freely and smoothly.

Open mouth...

and closed.

With your markers, add details and the characteristics your creature needs.

Here is another example. The maker wanted to try to make a llama. The legs and head are able to move back and forward.

Do you notice the similarity of these two linkages? In fact, I'm using the same linkages mechanism for this two motion.

Watch the video: How Four bar linkage Mechanism Work! Best 3D Animation


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