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In this low-cost paper engineering project, children will assemble a waving alien using paper and brass brads.
The alien art project is an example of oscillating motion through what is known as a quick return mechanism. This mechanism converts rotary motion into a back-and-forth motion characterized by a movement that is faster in one direction than the other.
Many tools such as mechanical saws and other similar devices use a quick return to home the blade after the cutting stroke is completed.
The mechanism is made up of several parts including a lever and a crank. The arm which is oscillated back and forth is a lever with the fulcrum at the pivot point, the effort at the point where the crank contacts the lever slot and the load at the end of the arm. Rotary motion is transmitted to the lever arm via a crank – a pivot point offset from the axis of rotation of the disc.
This document provides an image of the alien art project, a list of resources required to complete it, a description of the project and extensions, a parts list outlining what is needed.