Making Things Move DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists

A unique guide to practical mechanical design principles and their applications
In Making Things Move, you’ll learn how to build moving mechanisms through non-technical explanations, examples, and do-it-yourself projects–from art installations to toys to labor-saving devices. The projects include a drawing machine, a mini wind turbine, a mousetrap powered car, and more, but the applications of the examples are limited only by your imagination. A breadth of topics is covered ranging from how to attach couplers and shafts to a motor, to converting between rotary and linear motion.
Each chapter features photographs, drawings, and screenshots of the components and systems involved. Emphasis is placed on using off-the-shelf components whenever possible, and most projects also use readily available metals, plastics, wood, and cardboard, as well as accessible fabrication techniques such as laser cutting. Small projects in each chapter are designed to engage you in applying the material in the chapter at hand. Later in the book, more involved projects incorporate material from several chapters.
Making Things Move:

  • Focuses on practical applications and results, not abstract engineering theories
  • Contains more than a dozen topic-focused projects and three large-scale projects incorporating lessons from the whole book
  • Features shopping lists and guides to off-the-shelf components for the projects
  • Incorporates discussions of new fabrication techniques such as laser cutting and 3D printing, and how you can gain access
  • Includes online component for continuing education with the book’s companion website and blog (

Hands-on coverage of moving mechanisms
Introduction to Mechanisms and Machines; Materials and Where to Find Them; Screwed or Glued? On Fastening and Joining Parts; Forces, Friction and Torque (Oh My); Mechanical and Electrical Power, Work, and Energy; Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Motor? – Creating and Controlling Motion; The Guts: Bearings, Bushings. Couplers, and Gears; Rotary vs. Linear Motion; Automatons and Mechanical Toys; Making Things and Getting Them Made; Projects

Click Here For More Information on 3D Printing

3 thoughts on “Making Things Move DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists”

  1. Great book! As a paper engineer and artist with some electronic experience, I have found that learning about gears, pulleys, motors, and the actual mechanics of getting things to move somewhat daunting. There are basic books geared towards beginners as well as books filled with inspiring complex examples that are impossible to navigate unless you already have a high level of expertise. This book is the book I’ve been looking for. It is really useful and very comprehensive in its approach and scope. It starts with the basics, but, takes you through a wide array of materials, techniques, and examples. Its section on motors (and arduino control) is great. I think its a fantastic book for students and individuals with varying skills, experience, and interests. Highly recommend it.

  2. Fantastic Presentation I’m sure the way you respond to this book will depend heavily on your experience level as a mechanical and electronics tinkerer. I happen to be right in the bullseye of the author’s target audience: this book is perfect for where I am in my informal education in those areas. My favorite part is that Ms. Roberts makes specific recommendations for tools and for parts and materials sources. The information is presented in a very logical order. It is intentionally not too deep – just the bare essentials to get you started experimenting. But with plenty of information about how to go further. If you want to learn how to build machines that move, this is a great place to start.

  3. perfect book for student designers I have been waiting for this book! I teach product design at a local university, and my students often have questions that I can’t answer about topics discussed in Making Things Move. The language here is perfectly suited for this purpose, the information is very clear and the example projects are nicely explained and documented. The hand sketches are great, because they capture the excitement of making things, and put one in the mood to start sketching and inventing! Thanks to this author for producing a needed book that will help many non-professional people as they try their hand at mechanical design and robotics.

Comments are closed.