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Thread: Turning pages in a book with a motor

  1. #1
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    Default Turning pages in a book with a motor

    This year I automated my blowmold nativity so that it turns on in sequence to tell the story (along with a star that physically gets raised). I think for next year I need to physically tell the story along with the animation to complete the setup, but I am struggling with how to go about it.
    The current animation is:
    *All is off
    *Mary/Joseph and farm animals come on
    *Jesus comes on
    *The start turns on and then I pull it to its height
    *The shepard and his sheep come on
    *Lastly the wisemen and a camel come on
    *Then they all turn off and the star resets itself

    The idea I liked the most was to have a large book (think 3ft tall) that have the pages be physically turned. I like this idea the best, but I think logistically that could be really tough, and I worry about the wind catching the pages and making it hard on the motor (not sure what the pages would be made out of, wood, plastic coro, etc.). Seems like I could use a wiper motor to turn pages, but I would have to turn individual pages, and then reset the book at the end, that could be a tough task.

    Anyone have some thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Turning pages in a book with a motor

    Just a quick thought that popped in my head when reading this... For the pages themselves I would think plastic poster board would work nicely. You can actually get full prints on 24x36 poster board from walgreens. (a little pricey at $29 a page but I'm sure there is way cheaper online). To turn the pages I would use two small but high torque servos. The first servo should be at the bottom of the book spine and have aa small arm attached at a 90 degree angle behind the book. At the end of the arm should be another servo with a small arm of its own. (this should all make since momentarily). The first servo starting position is directly behind the book at 90 degree, the second arm position is around a 45 degree angle coming back towards the book about halfway across the bottom of the right hand pages. Each page should have a 'tab' on the bottom and each pages tab should be offset a fixed distance from the previous tab (like index tabs but on the page bottoms). For each page the second servo is alighned to that pages tab, and the first servo perform a 45 degree turn, resulting in the page flipping. First servo returns to its default and the second servo increases it's angle to align itself with the next pages tab. When finished, the second servo moves to the last positions inverse angle and the first servo rotates 45 degree counter clockwise closing the book and resetting.

    I haven't thoroughly played this out in my head yet but I think it's doable. Time to sketch this up and apply a physics engine to see if it works! All of the sudden I want a page flipping book next year ;)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Turning pages in a book with a motor

    Look at cd jukeboxes. They have servo page turners for the inserts.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Turning pages in a book with a motor

    Quote Originally Posted by jdc928 View Post
    Just a quick thought that popped in my head when reading this... For the pages themselves I would think plastic poster board would work nicely. You can actually get full prints on 24x36 poster board from walgreens. (a little pricey at $29 a page but I'm sure there is way cheaper online). To turn the pages I would use two small but high torque servos. The first servo should be at the bottom of the book spine and have aa small arm attached at a 90 degree angle behind the book. At the end of the arm should be another servo with a small arm of its own. (this should all make since momentarily). The first servo starting position is directly behind the book at 90 degree, the second arm position is around a 45 degree angle coming back towards the book about halfway across the bottom of the right hand pages. Each page should have a 'tab' on the bottom and each pages tab should be offset a fixed distance from the previous tab (like index tabs but on the page bottoms). For each page the second servo is aligned to that pages tab, and the first servo perform a 45 degree turn, resulting in the page flipping. First servo returns to its default and the second servo increases it's angle to align itself with the next pages tab. When finished, the second servo moves to the last positions inverse angle and the first servo rotates 45 degree counter clockwise closing the book and resetting.

    I haven't thoroughly played this out in my head yet but I think it's doable. Time to sketch this up and apply a physics engine to see if it works! All of the sudden I want a page flipping book next year ;)
    That is a pretty interesting idea, I like that. It certainly beats the multiple rare earth magnet / reed switch idea I was working through in my head. I know someone who works at a sign store, so I am hoping I can get some of those thin/light/waterproof signs they use for real estate and all fairly cheaply. So where the torque would come in is if there is weight on the page from either wind or weather (maybe some snow or water). I haven't used servos before, but I am pretty comfortable with micros, so it isn't a terrible leap.

    How would you apply a physics engine to vet it?


    hauvega: That is a good idea, that is the sort of effect I am looking for, I forgot about jukeboxes (out of sight, out of mind)!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Turning pages in a book with a motor

    @toozie I'm a heavy user of Google sketch up 3d modeling. Sketch up has an awesome physics plug in that allows you to create and implement motors, gears, wheels, etc. You can set torque of the motors, weight of objects, etc.. It's by no means a full fledged physics simulator but it can be extremely useful to check the mechanics and basics of an idea and see it in action before the actual build. If your comfortable with microcontrollers, using a servo will be piece of cake.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Turning pages in a book with a motor

    AH, I have sort of looked at sketchup (I am assuming you are utilizing the paid version), and dabbled a little in OpenScad, but that is all. I didn't realize sketchup had a physics plug-in for it! That is pretty cool.

    I was thinking of the servo some more and had a slightly different idea that might work. Same concept as you had except imagine the first servo can turn a disc around (think a lazy susan with 180 degree turns only). Then you put a second servo on top of that disc and put a second disc with an arm on it (think a camber) that only points towards the book. You turn that second disc and it makes the arm shorter/longer. Once you have the distance you want (to hit the tab that will turn only the page you want), you turn the first disc and it rotates the whole thing in a wiper motion.

    It sort of makes sense in my head, but I am sure I explained it very poorly in words. Who knows if it would work, just an idea for now.

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    Default Re: Turning pages in a book with a motor

    Yes, that makes complete sense. It'd actually very similar to the first suggested I deleted I was thinking a gear.. Like your lazy Susan.. With upward tabs but that would have had to be a huge gear to allow all the tabs needed in one gear rotation.. I like your idea of a platter with an actuator or servo arm much better

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Turning pages in a book with a motor

    An actuator is what I'm mimicking, I just wasn't sure if i could use one.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Turning pages in a book with a motor

    Fingerelli sells some amazing quality actuators with just about every size stroke length and Power you could need. They are actually pretty cheap compared to most electric actuators I've come across. One of there 6" mini actuators sounds like it would work perfect

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Turning pages in a book with a motor

    I have even less knowledge of actuators. Are you able to know where on the rod you are just like a stepper motor? I am thinking that when the display starts up each day, I won't know where it got turned off the night before and will need to reset everything to a known starting point.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk
    ~Jason
    [URL]http://www.tooz.us[/URL]

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