Autodesk Inventor has a roller chain design accelerator that can produce quite complicated chains. So half an hour of playing around and I’ve managed to make my chains ‘properly’.

Only problem is that it doesn’t actually show the ‘chains’ just where they should be 🙁 I guess it would complain with several hundred extra parts…

It’s also perhaps possible to create a new chain type, with my rollers, as a standard component, but if I can’t even see them there is no point….

chainssIt’s not a complete loss, it will tell me how long each should be and allow me to change the size of each sprocket without too much messing around. The model also has a HUGE 1.4m invisible roller at the top ‘pushing’ the chain down.


Some people over on reddit have expressed some doubts about using wiper motors to turn the sphere. Now rather than complain that they’re ‘wrong’ and ‘know nothing’ I should admit they probably have a good point. Wiper motors are cheap, ubiquitous and pretty reliable. Are they suitable for this? I’m honestly not sure.What? Somone on a blog not claiming to be omniescent?? :p

In an ideal world I would have done some calculations before making my site public but I can hardly go dark now the hard questions are starting. However I am going to start looking properly at it. Autodesk Inventor has some great simulation tools to model torque and acceleration… which I have no idea how to use :p Well, I have a vague idea….

So please bear with me, I’ll watch some more tutorials and try to figure it out. I’m actually interested in working out what the power requirements are myself.

Don’t expect a 3DOF demo however, you’ll get a cyber rocking chair in one dimension only and use your imagination for the other two. 🙂