MechaniCards – Laser Cut Kinetic Art

Last fall Make’s blog had a story about Brad Litwin’s Mechanicards(tm). These are small hand operated kinetic sculptures that fit in a 5″ rectangular mailing envelope. They are available either completed or as a kit.

I was taken by the design and execution of these wonderful pieces of art.  The card are on the expensive side ($50-75 each completed), but the whimsical nature of these awesome moving art.  I ordered a full set of the kits.  They have been arriving over the last couple months. Unfortunately they have been stacking up in the To-Build piles, along with arduinos, LEDs and far too many projects.  I accumulated the highly specialized equipment required for assembly (tweezers, gap filling super glue, toothpicks, wax paper) and was finally ready to build the first kit (rotary engine) last week.

There were a couple hitches – the kit requires seven straight pins but these had been left out of my mine.  Fortunately my wife’s sewing kit was nearby and she let me have a few pins. There were a couple places where the instructions were not quite clear, but it was easy to figure out.  I emailed Brad and he replied quite quickly. The issues with instructions were known and being fixed.  I am very happy with this first MechaniCard and am looking forward to building the rest of the collection.

The primary material used for the cards is high quality illustration board. Brad works out the designs and then uses a laser cutter to cut the board.  I expect his work will be inspirational to other artists.  We have the tools to support making these when local artists want to try.

One local maker/artist who saw the cards thought it would be super awesome to build some kinetic sculpture like these as stage sets.  That sounds like a cool challenge.

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