Create a Moving Sun Sculpture: DIY Art Project Help and Advice

In summary, In order to create a moving sculpture which will reference the sun, the artist needs to purchase a motor for the circular movement and another for the vertical movement. They also need to synchronize the two movements. The lamp should be attached to the thread and have a mechanism to pull/release it. The artist estimates that the sculpture will weigh around 10kg.
  • #1
TwelweTwo
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Hello! I am an aspiring artist and have a terrible expertise in tech, but I have this idea in mind and strong desire to make it come to life, so I was hoping I could get some help here.

The idea is to create a moving sculpture which is going to refer to the sun. What you see in the sketch 2 as a circle is basically a lamp and I want to make make it move across the room. The movement that I want to make is primitively represented in the first sketch. I want it to move in circle on the plane parallel to the ceiling and up and down vertically (simultaneously).

I figured that I will need 2 moving elements, so first obviously the motor to make the circular movement. For the vertical movement I want to attach the lamp to the thread and have a mechanism to pull/release it. I also need to synchronise those two movements. More specifically I need to know what kind of motors I need to look for and how to connect them and what to use a central hub to orchestrate the movement ( I am thinking Arduino?).

As for the weight of the lamp I am not quite sure yet, as I don't have a prototype yet and the size of the whole construction will depend on the room that will be available to me, but I am estimating max. 10kg.

As I said I have very little knowledge in the technical aspect necessary for the execution and I don't really know where to start, I would very much appreciate if you guys can give me some practical advices or point me in the right direction for research.
 

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  • #2
How quickly is it supposed to move up/down? One cycle per revolution (making the overall motion a tilted ellipse)? Much slower? Faster? If the motion is synchronized it might be possible to make both with a single motor.

Some other numbers would be useful as well.
 
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  • #3
First of all, thanks for reply!

mfb said:
How quickly is it supposed to move up/down? One cycle per revolution (making the overall motion a tilted ellipse)?

Precisely that. The movement should give a tilted ellipse as a result. I am imagining one cycle should take around 30min, but I am considering coming up with a more interesting number related to cosmological constant for example. Using one motor will make my life much easier I imagine, but I was not sure how that can be achieved.

The whole construction will be attached to the ceiling. As for the numbers I am not sure what exactly you mean? If you mean the size wise, I cannot say that for sure, but I think radius of the circle will be from 2 to 3 meters and the lamp should be 1 meter in the diameter.
 
  • #4
TwelweTwo said:
The idea is to create a moving sculpture which is going to refer to the sun.
What does that mean? Are you going to have a stationary lamp globe in the center, and your oribiting object will be like a planet? Or is the moving object going to be lit up? If the latter, what is it supposed to be orbiting? A Black Hole maybe?

In any case, to have it rotate on a tilted axis, you can tilt the main rotor shaft. To get it to move in and out in an ellipse shape, you can change the arm length from the shaft to the object as a function of the angle around the arc. To get a nice ellipse, it may be necessary to use a different motor for the arm length changes. Maybe use a simple geared-down motor that is synchronous with the 50Hz/60Hz AC Mains power frequency (geared down to your low rotation rate like a clock), and use a stepper motor to linearly actuate the radius arm to give you an ellipse. That is pretty easy to do with an Arduino microcontroller, for example.
 
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  • #5
Can you pay an artist's sketch of your concept?
 
  • #6
berkeman said:
What does that mean? Are you going to have a stationary lamp globe in the center, and your oribiting object will be like a planet? Or is the moving object going to be lit up? If the latter, what is it supposed to be orbiting? A Black Hole maybe?

In any case, to have it rotate on a tilted axis, you can tilt the main rotor shaft. To get it to move in and out in an ellipse shape, you can change the arm length from the shaft to the object as a function of the angle around the arc. To get a nice ellipse, it may be necessary to use a different motor for the arm length changes. Maybe use a simple geared-down motor that is synchronous with the 50Hz/60Hz AC Mains power frequency (geared down to your low rotation rate like a clock), and use a stepper motor to linearly actuate the radius arm to give you an ellipse. That is pretty easy to do with an Arduino microcontroller, for example.

The moving part will be the sun which is going to be lit up, I was thinking that it will orbit the galaxy which is going to be suggested by the object on the floor possibly similar to the one in the photo. But it is not established yet and to be honest I love the black hole idea!

Thanks for the suggestion I will look into the method you described.
 

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  • #7
anorlunda said:
Can you pay an artist's sketch of your concept?

Sorry I don't understand what you mean?
 
  • #8
Sorry, auto spell.

Call
anorlunda said:
Can you pay an artist's sketch of your concept?
Sorry.

Can you post an artist's sketch.
 
  • #9
anorlunda said:
Sorry, auto spell.

Call

Sorry.

Can you post an artist's sketch.

Here is something I sketched out, I hope it won't make things more confusing, hehe. It basically shows two extremum points of the movement the way I have initially thought about this.
 

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  • #10
1565046952857.png
If the end of the rope that is fixed at the wall is far enough away from the rotating arm then the motion of the sphere is nearly elliptical with the plane of the ellipse tilted at a 45 degree angle from the floor?
 
  • #11
@Spinnor: That's what I was thinking about.

It doesn't have to be a wall, mounting something to the ceiling works as well as long as it is outside the area the rotating arm covers and ends lower than that arm.
 
  • #13
Thanks for the replies guys, I will try it with the method you suggested, however I will only have the opportunity to work on it full-scale in September. For fun here is the link to a quick prototype I made today from the sketch of Spinnor https://we.tl/t-fru9vbzPRp .
I think I like the elegance and straight-forwardness of this method but I am a bit afraid that the rope will become too prevailing element of sculpture, but that will only be clear once I make a first full size try out.
 
  • #15
You could use the right size fishing line, very strong and thin. You also might use a small pulley to reduce friction for the fishing line.
 
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  • #16
With regard to the ellipse, if using the post #10 method with a cord, an ellipse major chord length twice that of the ellipse minor chord based upon the diameter of the rotating arm can be created by using a single sheave pulley at the wall and a double sheave swiveled pulley on the arm with the end of the cord connected to the wall/ceiling location of the single pulley.
Additionally, by using a transparent fishing line, as suggested above, and painting the arm and its pulley assembly to match the room ceiling color and a similarly colored cover with a side opening for the wall or ceiling mounted pulley assembly you might minimize the distraction by those elements, at least for non-STEM viewers who are going to immediately start investigating how you achieved your ellipse motion anyway.
 
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  • #17
JBA said:
With regard to the ellipse, if using the post #10 method with a cord, an ellipse major chord length twice that of the ellipse minor chord based upon the diameter of the rotating arm can be created by using a single sheave pulley at the wall and a double sheave swiveled pulley on the arm with the end of the cord connected to the wall/ceiling location of the single pulley.
Additionally, by using a transparent fishing line, as suggested above, and painting the arm and its pulley assembly to match the room ceiling color and a similarly colored cover with a side opening for the wall or ceiling mounted pulley assembly you might minimize the distraction by those elements, at least for non-STEM viewers who are going to immediately start investigating how you achieved your ellipse motion anyway.

Thanks for the in depth answer!
 

Related to Create a Moving Sun Sculpture: DIY Art Project Help and Advice

1. How do I get started with creating a moving sun sculpture?

To get started with creating a moving sun sculpture, you will need to gather all the necessary materials such as wire, pliers, and a motor. You will also need to have a clear idea of the design and mechanism you want to use for your sculpture.

2. What type of motor should I use for my moving sun sculpture?

The type of motor you use will depend on the size and weight of your sculpture. A small and lightweight sculpture can be powered by a simple DC motor, while a larger and heavier sculpture may require a more powerful motor such as a stepper motor or servo motor.

3. How can I make my moving sun sculpture more realistic?

To make your moving sun sculpture more realistic, you can add details such as solar panels, LED lights, and reflective materials to mimic the sun's appearance and movement. You can also incorporate sound effects or music to enhance the overall experience.

4. Can I use recycled materials for my moving sun sculpture?

Yes, you can definitely use recycled materials for your moving sun sculpture. This not only reduces waste but also adds a unique and creative touch to your project. Just make sure that the materials you choose are sturdy enough to support the weight and movement of your sculpture.

5. Do I need any special skills or knowledge to create a moving sun sculpture?

No, you do not need any special skills or knowledge to create a moving sun sculpture. However, having basic knowledge of electronics and mechanics can be helpful. You can also find step-by-step tutorials and guides online to help you through the process.

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