HallBricks

[TC14] Acrophobia - A fully automated drop tower

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This is an idea I've thought of for quite some time, and the announcement of this contest finally got me started to actually work on it. My idea was to construct a drop tower ride and make the model fully automated while being propelled by only one PF motor. The cycle should include ascent, pause, release, descent of lifting module, connecting to seat module, ascent again etc. This required a series of mechanical solutions that would repeat over and over again, without ever changing the input direction. It turned out to be a very challenging project, but I'm quite happy with the final result.

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The tower is over a meter tall. The battery box and L-motor are located in the base, while most of the mechanics are hidden inside the very top of the model.

 

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The model is built in minifig-scale and the ride has room for 12 of them. The tires visible in the picture allows the ride to slowly descend the final part after the free fall. 

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My mini figure population is fairly limited, but I was lucky enough to find two brave people. The safety system is a new innovation called clutch power and allows for a sense of freedom during the ride. 

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Below are some images of the mechanics hidden in the top. This is probably not going to impress anyone who doesn't like the infamous color vomit. I haven't had time to change the colors, but as long as it works the colors don't bother me too much. 

This is how the model works:

The L-motor can only be turned on in one direction. Once it's started, the spool (barely visible) in the top rotates and lowers the lift towards the ground. Gravity is enough to connect the lift to the seat module, and the strings are just long enough to get the lift all the way down, and will therefore be winded in the opposite direction and the lift starts ascending.

Once it reaches the top, a gear on the lift engages with two gears in the top module, and causes a camshaft to rotate. There is a pause, just as it should be, before the camshaft pushes a liftarm downwards on each side which releases the locking mechanism on the lift and the seat module falls down. The lift is still in the top position, so the camshaft continues to rotate and interacts with a ball gear, which causes a Bugatti rotary catch to turn 90 degrees, with reverses the direction in which the spool is turning. The lift will no descend and the cycle will be repeated. 

The seat module is mainly decelerated by slightly angled liftarms connected to soft shock absorbers. 

 

I recommend you to watch the video to see how the model works, it's probably easier to understand that way. It's late now and I feel like my righting is really crappy. 

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Wow! That is some seriously ingenious mechanics going on there! I especially like how the cart slows as it reaches the bottom, and how all the mechanics work so harmoniously. The one thing it's missing is restraints, so I bet the injury rate is very high... :look::laugh:

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Just now, BrickbyBrickTechnic said:

Wow! That is some seriously ingenious mechanics going on there! I especially like how the cart slows as it reaches the bottom, and how all the mechanics work so harmoniously. The one thing it's missing is restraints, so I bet the injury rate is very high... :look::laugh:

I'm glad you like it! I actually ordered parts for the restraints, but they didn't arrive in time. Fortunately the clutch power seems to hold the figures in place :laugh:

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Very well done, the automation is very ingenious, love the slow return to home... well done. A very worthy opponent.   Good luck

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This contest turns out to be great. Really impressive mechanism, also interesting to see that you have used the elements from the Chiron. How does the slow return to the base function? Good luck!

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Just now, WvG_853 said:

This contest turns out to be great. Really impressive mechanism, also interesting to see that you have used the elements from the Chiron. How does the slow return to the base function? Good luck!

Thank you! After being slowed down by the brake, the seat module comes in contact with a line of rotating tires which slowly brings it down the final part. 

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Both the automatic mechanism at the top as the braking system are absolutely stunning! First drop-tower I've ever seen in Lego where the braking phase looks really realistic.

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On 9/8/2018 at 12:22 PM, m00se said:

Both the automatic mechanism at the top as the braking system are absolutely stunning! First drop-tower I've ever seen in Lego where the braking phase looks really realistic.

Thank you! I really wanted to achieve some sort of realistic braking, and I tried a couple of different techniques. Happy to hear that you liked it. 

 

21 minutes ago, kieran said:

First rate, looks very real, and works sonwell

Thank you!

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Hey @HallBricks! Fantastic design! Congratulations on the podium.

Did you perhapse make some digital model of the fantastic upper mechanism? Or maybe do you have some additional photos from different angles. I would really like to try to build this...

Best regards,

Miha

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18 hours ago, MajklSpajkl said:

Hey @HallBricks! Fantastic design! Congratulations on the podium.

Did you perhapse make some digital model of the fantastic upper mechanism? Or maybe do you have some additional photos from different angles. I would really like to try to build this...

Best regards,

Miha

Thank you! I'm happy you like it!

I haven't made any digital model, but I might have some photos from some other angles, not sure though. I'm not at home right now and the photos are on my computer, so I can check tomorrow. Unfortunately I have disassembled the model, but I might be able to reengineer the mechanisms in a 3D model by looking at the photos.

 

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3 hours ago, HallBricks said:

Thank you! I'm happy you like it!

I haven't made any digital model, but I might have some photos from some other angles, not sure though. I'm not at home right now and the photos are on my computer, so I can check tomorrow. Unfortunately I have disassembled the model, but I might be able to reengineer the mechanisms in a 3D model by looking at the photos.

 

I would be really thankful for anything you can provide. Thx again.

Best regards.

 

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