Annulation, a kinetic sculpture

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Project by Derek posted 08-03-2013 04:53 AM 3348 views 14 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Inspired by David C. Roy, this designed-from-scratch kinetic sculpture is called, Annulation. When it’s wound up, Annulation will run for 5 – 7 minutes. Each ring is 14” in diameter, and the maximum rotating diameter of the sculpture is about 30”. Its rings create an organic illusion of growth and decline as they spin and sway.

Controlled Center of Gravity:
Each ring assembly’s center of gravity (CG) was carefully positioned to be exactly at the assembly’s pivot point. This not only allows the three ring assemblies to have common parts, but also allows small weights to be attached in one of three positions behind each outer ring, assigning that ring’s orientation in the sculpture.

Ratcheting Escapement:
The Ratcheting Escapement allows Annulation’s rings to spin freely in one direction but not the other. When the rings begin to turn clockwise, the Ratcheting Escapement allows energy to be released, reversing the rings’ directions, sending them spinning counterclockwise.

Orientation Illusion:
The combination of carefully manged CGs and ring orientations generates a dynamic visual effect of size and orientation change, when in fact, the rings’ orientations relative to each other are not changing at all.

Detailed woodworking plans as well as a video of Annulation in action are available on my website:

Click here for a sample of the woodworking plans.

I would love to hear your comments. Please let me know what you think!


16 comments so far

View deon's profile


2296 posts in 1871 days

#1 posted 08-03-2013 05:08 AM

Very interesting project. Thanks for posting

-- Dreaming patterns

View redryder's profile


2284 posts in 1947 days

#2 posted 08-03-2013 09:37 AM

Nice video and web site. I wouldn’t have believed it if not for seeing it.
I always like different and you got that…...........................

-- mike...............

View michelletwo's profile


2355 posts in 1861 days

#3 posted 08-03-2013 09:50 AM

I think it’s fascinating.

View becikeja's profile


356 posts in 1658 days

#4 posted 08-03-2013 12:33 PM

Very Good

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View revwarguy's profile


127 posts in 747 days

#5 posted 08-03-2013 12:41 PM

CNC? are .dxf files available for the parts along with the plans?

-- "72.6 per cent of all statistics are made up on the spot." - Steven Wright

View MShort's profile


1744 posts in 2263 days

#6 posted 08-03-2013 01:28 PM

I am always fascinated by these types of projects. Thanks for the posting and the links to the videos.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View Derek's profile


27 posts in 803 days

#7 posted 08-03-2013 01:38 PM

The plans are in PDF format, and do not include DXF. However, with programs like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape (Inkscape is 100% free), you can easily convert the PDF files into DXF.

View sras's profile


4033 posts in 1974 days

#8 posted 08-03-2013 01:45 PM

You’re getting a nice collection of plans – one of them is going on my list … but … which one?

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5144 posts in 1137 days

#9 posted 08-03-2013 02:08 PM

Incredible! Hope everyone takes the time to check out your website—it’s worth the time. My hat is off to your mechanical design ability as well as your woodworking skill!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5721 posts in 2430 days

#10 posted 08-03-2013 07:27 PM

very nice work and an intellectual design challenge for which I salute you young man, well done indeed. Kindest regards I remain highly Impressed yours sincerely Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Manitario's profile (online now)


2380 posts in 1728 days

#11 posted 08-03-2013 07:37 PM

very cool!!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View natenaaron's profile


385 posts in 642 days

#12 posted 08-03-2013 08:02 PM

Cool. Very cool.

Are you making the wind up mechanisms too?

View D1st's profile


290 posts in 1885 days

#13 posted 08-03-2013 09:20 PM

That would be a bad ass clock. Its still looks great regardless.


View Derek's profile


27 posts in 803 days

#14 posted 08-04-2013 01:00 AM

natenaaron – Yes, I designed all the mechanisms.
D1st – Bad ass clock is next on my list. The design isn’t going to use any traditional gears, only an array of shared axis dual stage hypocycloid reducers.

View ThemBones's profile


26 posts in 602 days

#15 posted 08-04-2013 02:21 AM

Sweet! At first I thought it was a clock…lol.

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