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James Watt, the creator of the Solar Theremin, has another great kit that I am going to making for this weeks build. This time it’s a kinetic horse made of paper. The final horse is able to gallop, thanks to a small hidden motor inside.

This kit is a fairly easy build, but it does take a while to complete. I am not going to be documenting every step of the process this time. Why? Well, how many pictures do you really want to see of me cutting and gluing paper?

You can purchase the Kinetic Horse Kit on the Clockwork Robot website.

What you get:

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Almost all the parts are supplied with the kit. The CD contains the patterns which can be printed on (10) pieces of card stock, and the directions, which I just read from my computer as I assembled.

What you need:

  • Glue – White glue is perfect
  • X-Acto Knife – Be careful when cutting!
  • Screwdriver – small
  • (10) Pages of Paper – Any heavy card stock will do
  • (2) pliers – For bending wire
  • (1) AA battery
  • (1) Small ruler or straight edge

Step1: Let The Cutting & Folding Begin

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There are a lot of parts to cut and fold. I decided to cut all mine out first. Remember to keep the parts you cut with the original paper it was printed on. The piece numbers are printed on it and some parts are very similar. Use some kind of straight edge to help fold straight lines.
Step 2: Making the legs

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Making the legs is not too difficult, but there are 4 of them to make. Take your time and it isn’t a problem. Make sure to allow time for the glue to dry. I switched between the parts to allow one to dry while I worked on another. In some areas it helped to have a small screw driver to help push the paper down while the glue dries.

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All 4 legs are done and I am going to let them dry over night.

Step 3: Making the gearbox

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Once again, this is really easy and the directions are very clear. All you have to do is insert the gears as pictured and snap it together.

Step 4: Building the body

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Again, follow the instructions. Cut, glue, cut, glue…etc.

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A few more pieces and the head is done!

Step 5: Bending the drive wire

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Make sure to hold the wire with (2) pairs of pliers. The directions show you exactly how to bend the wire. When you are done, just slip on a pair of legs on each side.

Step 6: Adding the power

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The kit comes with a (1) AA batter pack, but I wanted more power. I decided to go through my parts bin and I found a nice little battery case that holds (2) AA batteries. This should make the horse really gallop! Also, the battery case has an on/off switch, which is a nice addition. I mounted it all to the bottom of the horse with double-sided tape so it is less visible.

Step 7: Testing

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Make sure everything is turning smoothly. If it is hanging up anywhere, just push, pull, or bend it into shape. I had very little problems with mine, just a small adjustment here and there.

Extra: What, no tail?
The horse didn’t have a tail, so I added one. If you got this far, it shouldn’t be a problem to cut one out and attach it to the back-end of the horse.

This was a fun project, and I really like the results. You can buy one on the Clockwork Robot website.

Marc de Vinck

I’m currently working full time as the Dexter F. Baker Professor of Practice in Creativity in the Masters of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship Program at Lehigh University. I’m also an avid product designer, kit maker, author, father, tinkerer, and member of the MAKE Technical Advisory board.


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Comments

  1. James Watt says:

    I love the tail. With a little more modification you could probably get it to swish about too. :)

    1. Marc de Vinck says:

      @Jim

      Sounds like you have V 2.0 to work on…..”Now with swishing tail!”

  2. s. says:

    Purchase kit, build from supplied parts?
    Make is going down the drain.

    If you published the sheets, then it would be a DIY project. What you show is “Some assembly required” project.

    1. Marc de Vinck says:

      @s.

      Yep, this is an “assembly project” but it is made by a “Maker” in the UK (Thanks Jim) and I like his kits. We try to mix up kit builds with original builds. Our audience ranges from people afraid of scissors, to hard-core builders of DIY stuff that is way over most peoples heads.

      I have a few builds coming up that will be 100%, OK, maybe 85%, original…hopefully you like them more.

  3. drain says:

    i agree about make going down the drain. most of the magazine now covers stuff on the blog which is taken from other blogs… etc. not much in the way of original content. buy the kit, buy the kit, blah blah. the podcasts suck now too – shoulda left olde dirty kip kay at that trashy site they found him on. they are super uninformative, have no energy, and a lot of the time dont work correctly. not to mention radio shack commercials in the middle and the ultra lame intro/editing…. biff.

    btw… this horse appears to be cantering as opposed to galloping.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If you adjust the crank shaft so it at 12 and 3 o’clock as opposed to 12 and 6 you can get more of a gallop. I like the canter though.

    The last clockworkrobot kit Make did a Build blog on (solar theremin) actually did have all the information you need to make the thing. Full labeled schematics.

    Also several people have managed to make kinetic horses just by watching the videos:


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kllh2yV4i0

  5. Mario says:

    Hello.
    Is there enough space between the body and the legs of the horse to make the cable go form the top to the bottom? Or did you need to make any modifications?

    Thanks!

    1. Marc de Vinck says:

      Nope, there is just enough wire.

  6. Anonymous says:

    it’s really hard to make a horse kinetic… you should be expert or you should have patience in your hands if it goes wrong:)

  7. John Robinson says:

    I can see no one has commented on here for a long long time, but I work for Glasgow Science Centre and was wondering if its possible to make this alot larger at least 5-6 times bigger and out of mdf/plywood

    1. jim watt says:

      hi john, it’s been a year, sorry I just hadn’t read the comments but if there’s still any interest, do get in touch. I’m a regular at the MAKllab (Jim Watt) and if they allow emails in this: clockworkrobot at gmail dot com
      Hope to hear from you.

  8. papiertigre says:

    i can’t buy the set on the website anymore…. where else to get it? help!

  9. Laura Natalia says:

    hola como puedo conseguir los moldes para el cuerpo del caballo y como hago el movimiento de la cabeza???

  10. papiertigre says:

    Yes it would be helpful to get at least the the printing forms of the horse.
    I need that set !!

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