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Electrical hinge mechanism of some sort?

  1. Jun 30, 2017 #1
    I'm not sure if this is the right thread to post this, but here it is!

    I'm currently trying to create a prop for one of my friends, since I found it an interesting challenge.
    This is a simple drawing of what I'm trying to do:
    The button, battery and so on it not my problem, it's that I've no idea how to create this hinge mechanisme I want. As demonstrated I basically want to make something that can push a light tube up in a straight line when powered, there's going to be three of them where each one of them should have one of these hinge mechanisme. Feel freely to ask me more questions about my project, since I'm beginner and not sure where to start with anything regarding the hinge mechanisme. Thanks. :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 30, 2017 #2
  4. Jun 30, 2017 #3
  5. Jun 30, 2017 #4
    I don't know, but probably not. My only experience with them was as a quarter turn actuator used to open and close a radioactive source shutter mechanism, and was an all-or-nothing affair.

    Speed controllable linear and rotary actuators exist, in fact, rotary actuators are often used as valve positioners, but they are rather large, and on the expensive side for a hobby project. Exlar is one of the many manufacturers that make them.
  6. Jun 30, 2017 #5
    Ah damn, need something really small, compatc and cheap..
  7. Jun 30, 2017 #6


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    Depending upon the size and weight of the tube lights a gear motor for each light with a 90° clamp on the shaft end to hold the light might work. I don't know what level of cheap you need but a gear motor like the one on the below site might fall in your price range. You would still have to make the mounting for the motors to the shaft and the tube light mounts; but, if you know someone with a 3D printer then those items could be easily made at a low price. A push button switch would allow the user to control the angle of the lights.

  8. Jul 1, 2017 #7
    Not sure what the physical limits are - but in this 2D view it looks a little like a cross seciton of an umbrella. Are both of the moving arems to move at the same time? Both iup or both down?
  9. Jul 1, 2017 #8
    Yes there's going to be three feathers, they are all going to expand or contract at the same time. I think i found something that can serve that purposes a servo. Since so far I know u can actually control how many degree it turns and can lock at the deciderede degree, the material it's going to lift will mostly be foam and worbla.
  10. Jul 2, 2017 #9


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    Perhaps look at what's available for model boats and cars. There are a wide range of servos and sail winches all of which have a standard electrical interface.
  11. Jul 2, 2017 #10
    I don't know if it's feasible for you, but pneumatics could do it, you can put flow controls on them and control the speed very nicely.. however stopping them at a precise location other than full travel is hard.. If it only has to do it a couple times, you could use a CO2 canister as an air source, small electric solenoid valves are available
  12. Aug 12, 2017 #11
    Just use a Servo and a Microcontroller! You may want a larger servo based on the size of the piece you are moving, but these are fully programmable for speed and range:
  13. Aug 13, 2017 #12
    Have you thought of just using a mechanical actuator? You could just have a spring with a trigger latch, damping could be done with a little oil filled cylinder.. would require a manual reset though
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