My friend and yours, Gareth Branwyn, heard I was testing the Epilog Zing laser cutter and asked if I could cut him the parts for a 4Volt Jansen Walker. Gar is a robot master and a steampunk to the core (check out his Lost Knowledge issue of MAKE magazine for more proof) so I figured clear acrylic wouldn’t do it. He needed a wooden walker! I’m going to convince him to purchase brass nuts and bolts for the build, and maybe he can use small steam engines instead of servos and swap in a Babbage Machine for the Arduino…

I downloaded the parts files from Thingiverse, pulled them into Corel Draw, prepped them on a single 16″ x 12″ page, and fired it off. After about 20 minutes of cutting (OK, I was just sipping a cocktail watching it cut) the parts were all done. If you look closely there are some strange curves that became segmented or non-tangent. It turns out a single bolt in the laser optics assembly had wiggled loose. I paused the cutting, tightened the bolt, and the remaining cuts were perfect. I kind of hope these anomalies will enhance the organic nature of the design.


We’ll have to bug Gar to pick up the story from here once I ship the parts to him!

Here’s the original, inspiring, wonderful, otherworldly Jansen Walker that inspired Mr. 4Volt.