Kinetic Sculpture work with pandemic access
May 19, 2020 11:47 AM   Subscribe

I've been trying to work on a kinetic art piece that would be arduino to servo powered, however I am unable to access the welding facility i was working out of due to the pandemic. Anyone have any construction advice?

I've made prototypes using aluminum tubing and rods, however the bonds are not strong enough using epoxy to maintain integrity for continual motion. The piece is about the size of a medium sized houseplant, and the design is based of that (moving leaves, opening flowers). I've considered soldering copper rods and tubing, however I'm concerned that bond won't be strong enough as well.

One other limiting note is that i live in a loft, and do not have access to another work space. Can't weld here of course.
posted by keame to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Aluminum brazing rod can be purchased at most hardware stores. Brazed joints may not be as strong as welded, but it's likely to be strong enough for your purpose. The amount of smoke & fumes won't be any worse than soldering copper tubing.
posted by kc8nod at 12:07 PM on May 19

screws? nuts and bolts? rivets?

Some epoxies are stronger than aluminum tubing, so I'm having a difficult time imagining how it's failing. 3M DP720 epoxy comes to mind. Must be some fairly hefty servos. Are the forces at right angles to the tubes, or what? What diameter tubes? What angles do you need? Is it free form, it's probably free form... Would an adjustable angle fitting work? Could we see a pic?
posted by at at 5:55 PM on May 19

Thank you for the replies. Perhaps stronger epoxy would solve some of the issues. The angles are all 90 degrees, here's an image of the basic prototype using materials i had on hand.

Brazing seems like it might work as well, and might help with aesthetics.
posted by keame at 7:42 PM on May 19

Bondo might work- used for auto body repair and I have used it extensively in sculptures. It’s really strong
posted by catrae at 10:53 AM on May 20

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