Alfred Hoehn, a wonderful artist and architect from Switzerland, suggested I use the simple wood gears from my Primograf drawing machine to make an interference toy. Alfred makes fantastic large drawing machines which I've admired from afar, so I took his idea pretty seriously. That was almost eight years ago. Every couple of years I would try my best to come up with a good working prototype for the toy. Last year I made 34 different models, none of which worked. This year I finally realized that it could be even simpler with just two wood gears driving the two pieces of laser cut paper which also function as gears. The paper has 90 teeth while the wood drive gear has 34 teeth and the secondary wood gear has 30 teeth. This creates a difference of speed. When this is combined with the patterns on the gears being slightly out of phase, interference patterns emerge.
The Interference 2019 package includes 7 paper gears which can be mixed to create many different patterns. You can use the machine flat on a table or display it on a small wooden stand.
Design and Materials
The gears and the baseboard are made of basswood from Minnesota. All the nuts and bolts are made in-house on an Original Prusa i3 printer using PLA plastic. The paper patterns are laser cut using Reich Paper's SHINE Cover. This paper is FSC Certified, archival and has a metallic glitter. I will be doing all the laser cutting, gluing, and assembly. The overall size of the Interference 2019 is 5-3/4 inches wide x 7-7/8 inches tall.
What's in the box?
The Interference 2019 machine
* 7 paper gear patterns
* a flat packed wooden stand