3D-Printable Sculpture Shows Off Unpredictable Order Of Chains

[davemoneysign] designed this fascinating roller chain kinetic sculpture, which creates tumbling and unpredictable patterns and shapes as long as the handle is turned; a surprisingly organic behavior considering the simplicity and rigidity of the parts.

3D-printed, with a satisfying assembly process.

The inspiration for this came from [Arthur Ganson]’s Machine With Roller Chain sculpture (video, embeded below). The original uses a metal chain and is motor-driven, but [davemoneysign] was inspired to create a desktop and hand-cranked manual version. This new version is entirely 3D-printed, and each of the pieces prints without supports.

According to [davemoneysign], the model works well with a chain of 36 links, but one could easily experiment with more or fewer and see how that changes the results. Perhaps with the addition of a motor this design could be adapted into something like this chains-and-sprockets clock?

You can see [Arthur Ganson]’s original in action in the video embedded below. It demonstrates very well the piece’s chaotic and unpredictable — yet oddly orderly — movement and shapes. Small wonder [davemoneysign] found inspiration in it.

7 thoughts on “3D-Printable Sculpture Shows Off Unpredictable Order Of Chains

  1. Back in the 60s I saw a kinetic sculpture which used a suspended sprocket gear and a bicycle‘s worth of bicycle chain. The chain hung freely from the sprocket gear, and as the gear turned slowly, the chain hung vertically as one might expect. But as the sprocket speed was increased, the up-and-down sides of the bicycle chain spread apart, and at speed the chain was almost a circle. It had to be seen to be believed.

  2. Imagine a loop of electric fence wire being used in a string shooter. Attached a Tesla coil and it would make for an interesting art piece. [ Not to mention post apocalyptic crowd control. ]

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