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  • Ideas for a full size skeleton model with lockable joints

    Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by Mekon, Sep 26, 2009.

    1. Mekon

      Mekon New Member

      Sep 2009
      Likes Received:
      I want to build a 7 foot tall humanoid weight bearing skeleton with adjustable poseable joints.

      I’m new to this kind of project so I may not be using the best terminology yet.

      The joints also need to be capable of bring ‘locked’ into position without collapsing or moving due to the structure’s own weight or external forces.

      I’d be thinking of something along these lines:

      Neck Ball Joint
      Shoulders Ball Joint
      Elbows Hinge Joint
      Wrists Ball Joint
      Hips Ball Joint
      Knees Hinge Joint
      Ankles Hinge Joint

      The frame will be covered by a shell probably made of resin or fibreglass so the mechanism for adjusting and locking the joints must be fairly simple and accessible. The movement wouldn’t have to be smooth as a ratcheted type action would be adequate. A universal joint would also be okay if it can be locked.

      I don’t have welding skills or access to welding equipment so I’d be thinking about a wooden structure with the joints screwed or bolted on. Plastic tubing also a possibility I suppose.

      I’ve looked at various areas and have so far determined the following:

      Animatronics and robotics use motors, pneumatics and other electrics but that’s well beyond my requirements let alone my capabilities and budget.

      Model making and sculpture armatures tend to be for fixed or limited movement structures.

      Animation armatures provide good movement but tend to be small and they don’t usually need to support larger weights or be lockable

      I’ve considered a home made ball joint with tension provided by bungee cord, but I don’t think this would be very easy or effective and wouldn’t fulfil the ability to be lockable.

      I’m willing to spend some money, but not loads. Making each joint myself or adjusting cheap existing objects would be preferable here.

      So, engineers, your ideas please!

    3. aknotley

      aknotley Active Member

      Jul 2009
      Likes Received:
      Hi Mekon. I'm not sure how much use this is, but it might be a good idea to look through the RS and Farnell catalogues. Maybe they have some off the shelf components that you could use. Prices are very reasonable and they're very fast delivery.

      Here are some links:
      RS: http://uk.rs-online.com
      Farnell: http://uk.farnell.com

      That might be a good starting point. Please let us know how you get on!

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