Gears Embedded In Business Cards

[vimeo 2395048]

In [Bre Pettis]’s latest “things” video, he talks with [Adam Mayer] about his geared business cards. [Adam] has designed several versions of these cards that have functional gear systems in them. There appears to be a simple two gear one and a more complicated planetary gear set up. The designs have been uploaded to Thingiverse, so you can download and build your own.

32 thoughts on “Gears Embedded In Business Cards

  1. Is there a version of this video that doesn’t require a freaking quad core 3.6ghz pc to play it?

    On my 2.4ghz hyperthreaded P4 (oc’d to 2.9ghz) all I get is a slideshow.

    Stupidly high processor requirement codecs/SWF video players really don’t help promote the use of embedded video in webpages.

  2. I didn’t have an issue, but, as you said, Ive got a quad core 2.4Ghz(oc’d to 3.4Ghz) and a 8600GTS.

    I would say that its not your CPU, its your GPU that might be lacking.

    Either way, these cards are really sweet.

  3. that’s really cool. No probs running here although I do have a quad core. flash on Linux is not so hot, so if that is what you are using them I’m sorry, I love Linux but well adobe doesn’t.

  4. Really? I’m hitting 60% with a video running in firefox with a few of the necessary attachments and a game paused and minimized in the background. If you can’t get the video to play, stop trying to use your phone like a computer.

    And yeah, this is an awesome idea.

  5. daryl, thank you for the link, the video on that page plays perfectly even on my Asus Eee’s.

    I think that’s pretty neat, those cogs remind me of the ones in the first Tomb Raider where you have to collect 3 to finish a geared setup to unlock a drawbridge or something.

    I wonder how long until someone creates a plan to link two or more cards together, or some sort of multi-layered setup with a gear puzzle to unlock a secret code, hmm…

  6. smooth as hell on this old p4 1.4 running hardy heron.

    anyway, very neat. I’ve never seen gears in a business card before. which is a surprise, because it seems like a pretty obvious idea.

  7. hmm, you must be having a pebkac problem or possibly an id-10-t error, runs fine on my bargain basement acer laptop with Ubuntu.

    I actually prefer the 2 gear version, as it’s functional rather than just looking neat. The planetary setup is still pretty sweet though.

  8. Athalon XP 2500 1.8 GHtz (yeah, I have only got the one core)
    NVidia 5200FX
    512 MB of Ram
    Ubuntu 8.10

    Runs just fine here (Okay it hogs the CPU a bit but who cares)

    and this is my main machine

  9. Totally awesome. Too bad I doubt I’d ever be able to cut these out by hand.

    Anybody have an idea how those of us with less than perfect hand-eye coordination can make these?

  10. I am gonna have to go get some card stock now. I wonder if he, or anyone else will post different versions of this idea. Also if someone was willing to invest in the automating this I could see a market for business cards like this. It wouldn’t be very difficult either. Spend the money for a die for the gears and you could make a few hundred in an hour or so. anyway, cool idea.

  11. amd athlon xp 1800+ stock @1.533GHz 1GB Ram and radeon 9600. 8 year old system. plays fine here. make sure your AV software isn’t in the middle of an update or you’re not using ZoneAlarm’s net protection (friggen resource/cpu hog)

  12. @Cirictech:
    It sounds like you may have the same problem I had. Nvidia’s implemenation of XRender is very poor. If you’ve got an Nvidia card, you can add the following settings to your ~/.nvidia-settings-rc to give it a small boost:

    I recommend that you make the file read-only so that the nvidia-settings utility doesn’t remove these lines.

  13. Well… I’m using a 466MHz PowerPC G4, running MacOSX 10.4 (Tiger), with an ATI’s ATY,Rage128PRO (16MB VRAM) and 896MB SDRAM.

    And guess what, it’s not a slideshow :)
    Not perfectly smooth either, but defenitely not a slideshow.


    about the video, i’m gonna make the planetary gear one :D
    it’s just too cool!

    if it works, i may try one of those unconvensional not round gear sets, and if that works, i may post a video ^^

  14. Indeed it would be hard to manually cut out gears, there must be a more clever way, some sort of cookie-cutter style thing, or one of those scissors that cut patterns, and there are punchers for carton decoration one might be able to adapt?
    Perhaps something can be found on
    Also I’d use something like plastic for those planetary gears, or some sellotape or something on the carrier to make them rotate better, also did I miss what he uses for the axle or did he really also use the same paper? That would not be sturdy/longlasting I imagine.

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